- Associated Press - Friday, June 20, 2014

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - The final cases from a multistate drug investigation wrapped up this week when the final three defendants were sentenced to prison terms for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

An investigation of the Gamboa drug trafficking organization led to the seizure last year of 22 pounds of a highly pure form of meth, 10 handguns, four cars, two motorcycles and $5,000 in cash.

The Southwest Times Record newspaper reported Friday (https://bit.ly/1iPPnqG ) that Phillip Knox, 47, of Fort Smith, was sentenced to 10 years in prison; Leslie Kaelin, 34, of Fort Smith, was sentenced to nearly four years; and Jamie Ramos, 27, of Alma, was sentenced to about three and a half years.

Indictments unsealed last year accused 23 defendants in federal court. Gerardo Gamboa, 37, of Fort Smith, was sentenced in May to 20 years in prison for distributing 50 grams of methamphetamine. Prosecutors identified him as the head of the organization.

Prosecutors said Gamboa sold a quarter-pound of meth to a confidential informant in November 2012 and to an undercover agent over the next three months. After obtaining a wiretap, they picked up Gamboa on May 20, 2013, in Oklahoma as he carried a large amount of meth, prosecutors said.

The defendants sentenced most recently were in court Wednesday before U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes III.

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