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Absent for trial, Nichols man caught, gets 25 years on drug, gun charges

James Lamont Arthur


     On the run since being tried in absentia in early November, James Lamont Arthur of Nichols is in custody and set to spend the next 25 years in prison for gun and drug crimes.

     U.S. Marshals Task Force members took Arthur, 35, into custody, booking him into the J. Reuben Long Detention Center near Conway on Dec. 4, jail records show.

     Superior Court Judge Steven J. John sentenced Arthur Monday to serve 25 years in prison on his conviction of third-offense trafficking cocaine base more than 10 grams, but less than 28 grams; possession of a schedule one to five drug – amphetamines or Adderall; unlawful possession of a pistol; and unlawful carrying of a pistol.

     After Arthur failed to appear in court for trial in October, proceedings took place without him, a jury rendering the guilty verdicts on Nov. 7. Judge John sealed his sentencing decision until Arthur could be found and brought back to court.

     “We appreciate the U.S. Marshals Task Force agents for their perseverance in tracking Mr. Arthur down and bringing him to justice,” senior assistant solicitor Mary-Ellen Walter, who prosecuted the case, said in a news release from the office of Solicitor Jimmy Richardson.

     Arthur faced between 25 and 30 years on the third-offense trafficking drugs charge; up to six months for the drug possession charge; up to five years on the gun possession charge; and not more than a year in jail on the unlawful carrying a pistol charge, Walter said in November.