Harmon's successor wins first drug case
BENTON - Prosecuting Attorney Barbara Webb's office successfully prosecuted
its first drug case this week since she replaced controversial former
Prosecuting Attorney Dan Harmon.
Webb, who took office in January, said a Saline County jury convicted
Michael S. Hoffman, 32, of Benton of manufacturing a controlled substance
-- three marijuana plants.
Circuit Judge John W. Cole of Sheridan followed the jury's recommendation
and sentenced Hoffman to eight years in prison and fined him $15,000. The
maximum penalty was 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Hoffman's attorney contended the marijuana was being grown for Hoffman's
personal use and that he should receive probation.
Hoffman was arrested April 26, 1996, under Harmon's administration by
investigators with the Arkansas State Police and the Saline County sheriffs
"We were real pleased with the result," Webb said Wednesday. "I think it
sends a strong message that Saline County takes drug crimes seriously."