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Wealthy Indicted in Alleged ‘Social’ Drug Distributing

October 25, 1986 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Federal drug charges have been filed against a group of wealthy residents, including three investment bankers, who allegedly dealt in cocaine socially as well as for profit, a prosecutor said Friday.

Roger Clinton, brother of Gov. Bill Clinton, was named as an unindicted co- conspirator on two of the charges, said U.S. Attorney George Proctor. He said there was no evidence of any involvement by the governor.

Eleven people were named in the indictments on charges ranging from use of a telephone for a drug transaction to conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Three were charged with possession.

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Proctor said the case showed his office was not stopping with prosecution of drug sellers.

″Were it not for the use of cocaine in a social setting, there would be no sellers of cocaine,″ said Proctor.

″This case also illustrates that the law not only prohibits the selling of cocaine for profit, but it also prohibits one person giving cocaine to another,″ he said. ″Either a sale or a gift of cocaine amount to distribution in the eyes of the law.″

Named in the indictments were investment bankers Dan R. Lasater, 43; George E. ″Butch″ Locke Jr., 51, and David Collins, 41, formerly partners in the defunct firm of Lasater, Locke and Collins.

Proctor said Lasater and Locke would plead guilty and that Collins planned to make a statement on his own.

Lasater, who has been one of the top race-horse owners in the country, made his fortune in restaurants. He also owns the Angel Fire ski resort in New Mexico.

Lasater and Collins were charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. They could be sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $250,000.

Locke, a former state senator, was charged with conspiracy to violate a federal law and use of a telephone for a drug transaction. He could be sentenced to nine years and fined $500,000.

Also indicted were Mitchell Wood, 40, of Little Rock; former Arkansas Razorback basketball player Keith Peterson, 27, of Little Rock; George Jefferies of Little Rock; Larry Kelly, 48, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Donald Glenn Bradley, 35, of North Little Rock; Lee Curtis Berry, 42, of North Little Rock; James Brainard, 27, of Little Rock; and Bert D. Clayton, 42, of Little Rck.

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Peterson, Jefferies and Kelly, employees of investment banking firms, were charged with possession of cocaine. Brainard, a former employee of Lasater, Locke and Collins; Berry, who has been Lasater’s chauffeur; and Clayton, who sells real estate, were charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and could be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Bradley was charged with distribution of cocaine and conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Wood, an employee of the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission, and Locke were charged with conspiracy.

Roger Clinton, also named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the charge against Wood, pleaded guilty in January 1985 in federal court in Hot Springs to four counts of distribution of cocaine and one charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to two years in prison. The government agreed not to charge him with further crimes in exchange for his testimony in other cases. He was released from prison this spring.