10 years in prison for man guilty of drug trafficking

A man was found guilty of trafficking kratom this week and sentenced to a decade in prison.

A Greene County jury Wednesday found 46-year-old Marshall Ray Price guilty of trafficking a controlled substance.

Circuit Judge Randy Philhours followed the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Price to 10 years in prison.

On May 5, 2021, Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy Heath Carter conducted a routine traffic stop of Price’s vehicle, a press release from the prosecutor said. Price consented to a search of the vehicle, and law enforcement discovered a large amount of kratom—a Schedule I controlled substance in Arkansas—inside.

Wesley Watts and Alexia Butler—deputy prosecuting attorneys—prosecuted the case for the state. Watts and Butler thanked the jury for their service and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office for their work.

Prosecuting Attorney Keith L. Chrestman praised the deputy prosecutors.

“Watts and Butler are sending a clear message: Our communities won’t tolerate drug trafficking,” Chrestman said in a release. “I’m thankful for their hard work and willingness to serve.”

42 Comments

  1. Wow…you all are absolutely insane out there. 10 years in prison for a product that’s only illegal in your state because a suboxone doctor didn’t want the people having a safer option. Just crazy

    • This man was beat to death in this jail last night! I pray for justice for his family and loved ones .. this is disgusting!

      • It’s absolutely disgusting and infuriating that a good man who was using a safe, natural medicine got murdered for it. Thanks to Greene county, Arkansas this man is the first person in the country to die just from Kratom. They are complicit in his murder and need to be held accountable. There is no beneficial reason to have this archaic and arbitrary law that only protects Dr.s who want to push pharmaceutical opioids and see Kratom as a threat.

    • Right! I’ve got anywhere from 10 ounces to 4 kilos at a time here in Arizona. I’m not distributing Kratom, that’s for personal use as one ounce is only 4 doses for me personally. It’s far cheaper bought in bulk and until the stigma is lifted we will have to buy it as such. Kratom has saved my life and it’s persecution is a God-damned travesty! A all natural product with nearly zero deaths out of millions of users attributed to it. Claims otherwise need to look up the deceased’s toxicology reports as they are all polydrug users with toxic levels of various drugs in their system on top of Kratom. Yes a safe all natural solution to the opiate crisis is bad news for big pharma and their products like Suboxone and Methadone.

    • Ikr, you’d think he’d robbed a damn bank or mugged a rich ole lady. That they even call kratom a drug is absolutely as backwoods uneducated as you can get!!! An herb that you don’t even get high on!!! I hope every single person, directly or indirectly, that caused Marshall Prices death get what’s coming to them. To the arresting officers, the sheriff, the deputy prosecuting attorney’s & the prosecuting attorney…..get yourself EDUCATED about kratom. Don’t just go by hear say. Big Pharma doesn’t want kratom in this country…..it gets ppl off their deadly pain medications!!! See, cuts into their profit & seeings they’re the legal drug cartel…..they buy little backwoods states like yours off. I bet you all have a hell of a heroin, meth, Suboxone, pain pill epidemic!!!! Ya see, kratom gets people OFF these deadly drugs, anybody with half a brain would know this is a good thing!!!! I take it ya’ll don’t even have half a brain!!! Arrests a man for kratom…..calling it “drugs” don’t make it a drug, just makes you all REAL uneducated. Then there’s 2 deputy prosecuting attorney’s that get a hard on for this poor guy, an uneducated jury just believing that kratom is a bad drug, the poor man gets more time than someone who rapes a woman, someone who molests a child, any number of things WAY worse than kratom!!!!. You can’t Google information on it either. Big Pharma has influenced them too. They say it’s a drug, they don’t talk about all it’s benefits, they say it’s addicting & to get off of it to go on Suboxone!!!!! Now Suboxone IS a potent drug, gives you feelings of euphoria & IS addictive. Most ppl don’t do the 2 yr plan, they end up on the drug for a long time, if not life. Big Pharma sits back with a big smile on their face & all you people look not only uneducated, I’m just gonna call it like I see it….ya’ll STUPID!!!! Then to add insult to injury, Marshall Price was killed by police while in police custody. Should NOT be cops investigating this….they stick together. The FBI, as much as I don’t trust them, would of been the better of the 2 evils!!!Last but not least…..karma will catch your asses!!!!

  2. 10 years for Kratom that is the stupidest thing I have heard release that man Kratos does not affect you like drugs do its a tea that helps from withdrawals off of the real drugs and I take it for pain and mood stabilizer I was on some powerful pain med due to back injury and didn’t want to be hooked on the so I tried kratom and I haven’t took a pain pills since kratom is a great tea that helps with a lot of things depending on the kind you get and it’s safe and if I run out I don’t have the drug withdrawal leave kratom along it’s help alot of people

  3. A perfect example of lower government idiots carrying out the dirty work of big pharma. You’re all tools and should be ashamed of your ignorance on the matter. Kratom is a life saver.

  4. This is a gross injustice. 10 years of this man’s life ROBBED because he had some kratom? A benign herb that millions of people in the United States consume daily and without issue? What a complete and utter joke. Shame on the jury, the judge, the police officers, and the entire state of Arkansas.

  5. Wow, honestly the LEOs involved should be ashamed of this. This is some Reefer Madness levels of delusion. It’s one thing to be delusional about the nature of a particular substance, it’s another to ruin somebody’s life over it. I thought Alaska was a state of freedom, I was wrong. Absolute clowns.

  6. Great job for ruining a mans life over a mild, harmless, and clinically helpful herbal medication that’s legal almost everywhere else in the world. I’m sure the cops and prosecutors won’t lose any sleep over it. Ignorance or indifference? Probably both. Just throw another body into that criminal justice meat grinder. Really sad state of affairs.

  7. This is actually gross. I’m sure the cops and courts won’t lose a second of sleep. Ruining a person’s life over something legitimately harmless and has given so many people a higher standard of living.

    • Kratom is NOT a drug & ANYBODY that says it is is an uneducated FOOL!!! Ruin a man’s life…..a man HELPING people. It is used for pain, anxiety, mood & withdrawals!!!! You DO NOT get high on it, it is unfair to compare it to a drug!!! Big Pharma just don’t want anyone getting well or finding a natural, cheaper way to control their ailments!!!! They make money off of sick people, they’re the legal drug cartel that literally gets away with murder!!!! #KratomNation

  8. So you’d rather have your streets filled with deadly drugs from China and Mexico instead of a coffee tree leaf that doesn’t lead to overdoses. You got this whole thing wrong. You ruined someone’s life over a leaf they’re trying to grow in Florida?

  9. this is f*cking insane! I use kratom to control my fibromyalgia pain and anxiety; it DOES NOT get you high and it’s helped thousands with opiate addictions and chronic pain….glad I live in Canada and not a backwards red state of ignorance

  10. What a bunch of nutcases you must have down there for this to be carried out from the arrest, to the prosecution, to this INSANE sentence. The man had two packages of kratom, a product he purchased in Missouri for personal use, where it is legal, like in normal states. He had no prior criminal convictions. His family is apparently devastated. I found this information out very easily. Most likely, kratom helped him enough health-wise that he was willing to risk violating this stupid law. Unreal

  11. This is absolutely insane! The Kratom ban is the reason I left AR. It sent me back to addiction. That ban was done literally overnight because a methadone doctor was losing money. Kratom is not a drug!!;It should have never been banned!!! If you would like the other side of the ban please feel free to email me.

  12. My son is dead solely from kratom, I would rather he be in prison, but that’s just me.

      • This man was a very very good man and had the most kind loving heart. This crime against him should not be allowed to just slip under the rug like the rest of greene co. Ar. Murders in county jail. I beg someone will see this and find this man the justice I know his soul cries out for.

    • Man he was on some other stuff that killed him it wasn’t kratom though man I been taking kratom for 6 years not yet dead

      • Did you even read the damn article? He wasn’t on anything else that killed him the damn cops in the Greene County jail killed him, for kratom. He didn’t deserve jail & he especially didn’t deserve to die over that HERB….I REFUSE to call it a drug because I’m educated enough to know that it’s not!!!

      • You cold hearted, evil B@#$&!!!! What if that were your dad, or brother or son???? You wouldn’t be so flippant & disrespectful!!!!Hey Tammy, give you to my Billy goat Sammy 🤣

    • I am sorry for the loss of your son, I can’t even imagine how devastating that is to you and your family. I am not here to try and argue with you and say that it wasn’t Kratom, because I have no idea what the medical examiner’s report stated. I believe that you were told that he died due to ingestion of Kratom. I am just curious about what his official cause of death was, and whether you recalled the specific toxicology results and what the level of mitragynine in his blood was? I am a Neuropsychopharmacologist and PhD of Pharmacology with years of research and personal experience with Kratom, including helping hundreds of people to safely titrate and discontinue use of psychopharmaceutical mental health medications and drugs of abuse, with over 60 people I’ve worked with starting to use Kratom to attenuate discontinuation symptoms of various drugs. I have also studied Kratom and numerous other plant medicines in depth for years and understand the neuropharmacology and pharmacokinetics of Kratom better than almost all of the MDs and DOs, clinical pharmacists, toxicologists, and medical examiners in the country. I apologize if I sound supercilious, I am not trying to boast, only back up my statements. I have reviewed most of the coroner reports for deaths attributed to Kratom (whether alone or coingested with other drugs) in the US, and have found that pretty much all but two deaths are not the result of Kratom toxicity, but of undiagnosed medical problems or the ingestion of a substance that the medical examiners missed (e.g. tianeptine, phenibut, O-desmethyltramadol, ect.). And in my years of laboratory research, clinical research, and counseling patients, I have never come across a specific mechanism that Kratom possesses that could cause an overdose or toxicity, even in massive doses, and never had a patient experience anything that could be considered a serious medical reaction other than uncomfortable side effects. So, I am not saying that you are lying or anything like that, just that in my years of in depth research and work with users of Kratom, I haven’t come across a reason that it could directly contribute to death, alone or even used with other Rx or illicit drugs. That does not mean that there aren’t dozens of products in the US made by unscrupulous and negligent people that are marketed as Kratom or contain Kratom, along with various other substances that can be very dangerous. There have been hundreds, if not thousands of reports of Kratom being contaminated with unsafe substances, some of which can kill. However, natural, uncontaminated Kratom is very safe and presents negligible risk unless consumed in enormous doses, which would make someone vomit long before they took enough to kill them. There are hundreds of medical professionals, members of law enforcement, government agencies, politicians, scientists, and lawyers in this country that are taking advantage of the loved ones of people who have died after taking Kratom, but not died as a result of Kratom. They are preying on grieving families and using them in order to push their own agendas, for a multitude of reasons. They refuse to engage in real science or research related to Kratom, and are using the findings from inept or inexperienced pathologists who don’t do their due diligence. Most of these medical examiners are not maliciously recording their faulty determinations, many are just from smaller medical examiners offices and don’t have the knowledge or resources in order to arrive at the correct cause of death, and just see blood work that contains mitragynine and stop investigating there. If your son died from something other than Kratom, wouldn’t you want to know? You take them at their word and believe what they tell you because they are professionals and you’re supposed to be able to trust them. And you want closure. All I am trying to do is reveal what I know to be true, not because of fanaticism regarding Kratom, but because of an adherence to a certain scientific standard and commitment to always doing everything I can to find the facts and evidence of something, and dispell the unfounded, inaccurate, and flawed “evidence” about Kratom being dangerous and damaging. Because this leads to unjust and groundless laws that prohibit people from possessing a plant that has improved and even saved tens of thousands of lives. These erroneous laws are made due to the reliance on faulty and flawed information, and lead to the deprivation of life and liberty by the government simply because someone chose to use a plant to treat their pain, mental health, or addiction instead of drugs that cause side effects, dependence, worsening of their condition, or even death. We just saw Marshall Price’s wife lose her husband and his children lose their father because the state of Arkansas, prosecutor Keith Chrestman, and others thought they knew what was better for him than he did. He didn’t harm anyone, or attempt to violate someone’s rights. He didn’t steal from anyone or attempt to overthrow the government. He wasn’t a drug trafficker, he had a very small amount of leaf matter from a plant and would have continued living his life with his family and it would have affected no one, much less the government. So, I am very sorry that your son is gone, but the people who told you he died solely of Kratom toxicity either lied to you or are just incompetent, but regardless of the reasons for their incorrect determination, they are using you and your son to put more people’s sons/daughters, fathers/mothers, brothers/sisters in cages for violating unjust and pernicious laws, and in some of those cases they will lose their lives. Not because of Kratom toxicity, but because they didn’t comply with paternalistic laws. Those are the real Kratom deaths.

    • I am sorry for the loss of your son, I can’t even imagine how devastating that is to you and your family. I am not here to try and argue with you and say that it wasn’t Kratom, because I have no idea what the medical examiner’s report stated. I believe that you were told that he died due to ingestion of Kratom. I am just curious about what his official cause of death was, and whether you recalled the specific toxicology results and what the level of mitragynine in his blood was?

      I am a Neuropsychopharmacologist and PhD of Pharmacology with years of research and personal experience with Kratom, including helping hundreds of people to safely titrate and discontinue use of psychopharmaceutical mental health medications and drugs of abuse, with over 60 people I’ve worked with starting to use Kratom to attenuate discontinuation symptoms of various drugs. I have also studied Kratom and numerous other plant medicines in depth for years and understand the neuropharmacology and pharmacokinetics of Kratom better than almost all of the MDs and DOs, clinical pharmacists, toxicologists, and medical examiners in the country. I apologize if I sound supercilious, I am not trying to boast, only back up my statements. I have reviewed most of the coroner reports for deaths attributed to Kratom (whether alone or coingested with other drugs) in the US, and have found that pretty much all but two deaths are not the result of Kratom toxicity, but of undiagnosed medical problems or the ingestion of a substance that the medical examiners missed (e.g. tianeptine, phenibut, O-desmethyltramadol, ect.). And in my years of laboratory research, clinical research, and counseling patients, I have never come across a specific mechanism that Kratom possesses that could cause an overdose or toxicity, even in massive doses, and never had a patient experience anything that could be considered a serious medical reaction other than uncomfortable side effects.

      So, I am not saying that you are lying or anything like that, just that in my years of in depth research and work with users of Kratom, I haven’t come across a reason that it could directly contribute to death, alone or even used with other Rx or illicit drugs. That does not mean that there aren’t dozens of products in the US made by unscrupulous and negligent people that are marketed as Kratom or contain Kratom, along with various other substances that can be very dangerous. There have been hundreds, if not thousands of reports of Kratom being contaminated with unsafe substances, some of which can kill. However, natural, uncontaminated Kratom is very safe and presents negligible risk unless consumed in enormous doses, which would make someone vomit long before they took enough to kill them. There are hundreds of medical professionals, members of law enforcement, government agencies, politicians, scientists, and lawyers in this country that are taking advantage of the loved ones of people who have died after taking Kratom, but not died as a result of Kratom. They are preying on grieving families and using them in order to push their own agendas, for a multitude of reasons. They refuse to engage in real science or research related to Kratom, and are using the findings from inept or inexperienced pathologists who don’t do their due diligence. Most of these medical examiners are not maliciously recording their faulty determinations, many are just from smaller medical examiners offices and don’t have the knowledge or resources in order to arrive at the correct cause of death, and just see blood work that contains mitragynine and stop investigating there.

      If your son died from something other than Kratom, wouldn’t you want to know? You take them at their word and believe what they tell you because they are professionals and you’re supposed to be able to trust them. And you want closure. All I am trying to do is reveal what I know to be true, not because of fanaticism regarding Kratom, but because of an adherence to a certain scientific standard and commitment to always doing everything I can to find the facts and evidence of something, and dispell the unfounded, inaccurate, and flawed “evidence” about Kratom being dangerous and damaging. Because this leads to unjust and groundless laws that prohibit people from possessing a plant that has improved and even saved tens of thousands of lives. These erroneous laws are made due to the reliance on faulty and flawed information, and lead to the deprivation of life and liberty by the government simply because someone chose to use a plant to treat their pain, mental health, or addiction instead of drugs that cause side effects, dependence, worsening of their condition, or even death. We just saw Marshall Price’s wife lose her husband and his children lose their father because the state of Arkansas, prosecutor Keith Chrestman, and others thought they knew what was better for him than he did. He didn’t harm anyone, or attempt to violate someone’s rights. He didn’t steal from anyone or attempt to overthrow the government. He wasn’t a drug trafficker, he had a very small amount of leaf matter from a plant and would have continued living his life with his family and it would have affected no one, much less the government. So, I am very sorry that your son is gone, but the people who told you he died solely of Kratom toxicity either lied to you or are just incompetent, but regardless of the reasons for their incorrect determination, they are using you and your son to put more people’s sons/daughters, fathers/mothers, brothers/sisters in cages for violating unjust and pernicious laws, and in some of those cases they will lose their lives. Not because of Kratom toxicity, but because they didn’t comply with paternalistic laws. Those are the real Kratom deaths.

  13. I smoke weed with a friend who is involved in more than I am, and there was an investigation on me because the next day after leaving his house there were seven cop cars that pulled me over thinking I would have stuff that I don’t mess with on me, and they ransacked my SUV that I live in and they found a bag of kratom, I’m now fighting a court case that could give me 6 years in prison minimal for literally an ounce, at the time I worked two management jobs but now just the one. If this hits my record I lose my employment that’s all the hard work and effort I’ve been putting in trying to be a store manager so that I can support and start my family. Because of this I had to give a lawyer $4,000, I haven’t been able to find a place to live, I have a baby on the way and haven’t been able to prepare for that, I’m about to have court and because they think they have big dicks they’re going to try to f****** and my whole life over something that I was using to quit smoking cigarettes. Not only am I outraged, but I am so sick and tired of the law around here. I forgot that was even in my truck, I don’t know what to do I’m just phoqued

    • Hey, I’m so sorry to hear about your circumstances. Are you in Arkansas then? These paternalistic legislators, police and prosecutors need to be stopped everywhere that a plant medicine has safe and beneficial as Kratom is illegal. I hope you are not in jail and receive this response. I have been a Kratom advocate and user for over 10 years. I am also a Neuropsychopharmacologist and PhD Pharmacologist student and have researched Kratom and other plant medicines for years, as well as counseled people on discontinuing mental health medications and illicit drugs, and one of the most helpful substances I advise my patients to use is Kratom. As a Kratom advocate, I am currently trying to get information about anyone who this ban (in Arkansas and other states) has affected, whether due to ridiculous criminal charges for possession (or even more ridiculous, trafficking), or who can’t use it to help with various physical and mental health conditions, or even just someone who wants to because it improves their life. Making possession of something like this (or any substance/drug, in my opinion) is the antithesis of liberty and the opposite of small government, and it ruins lives. If you are still free but in jeopardy of losing your freedom due to this unjustified prohibition, please reach out to me. I don’t want to give personal information on this forum, but you can find me on Twitter under the handle: @n3uropharm. I am very interested in speaking with you about your situation and how myself or the many other big name Kratom advocates can help. If you haven’t done so already, either you or your lawyer should reach out to the American Kratom Association and Kratom Science Podcast. Since the date you posted your comment, the Federal Clarity for Kratom Consumers Act has been proposed in the US Senate with bipartisan support, so maybe reach out to the bill’s sponsors; Sen Mike Lee (UT), Sen Cory Booker (NJ), and Rep Mark Pocan (WI) about your situation. Also, if you are able to reply, whether on here or through a DM of Twitter, I’d like to know about specific charges, status of your prosecution, and where this occured/which county is handling the prosecution (I hope it’s not that turgid ass Keith Chrestman). In regards to him, I am attempting to form a plan to target him directly.
      I really hope that things are going well for you, and that something stops these people from harming you or anyone else again.

  14. Kratom saves lives.. mine included. I pray someone is able to step in and help him and that he can be released.

    • What?? Drug trafficking?! It’s a tea leaf. I take it every day. They put a man in jail for 10 years for a tea leaf?!! “Freedom” is an illusion in this country. What kinda of animals would lock a man in a cage for having what is basically the same as coffee beans??! Is this what you all became LEO for? To imprison innocent men not hurting anyone including themselves. Disgusting. You all should be ashamed. This country is a shell of itself because of you. And you just do what you’re told. Cowards.

      I just learned this man was beaten to death in his cell last night. They people that put him in there will need to answer to God about why they helped kill a man taking medicine. You monsters helped to kill a man for trying to take medicine that Pfizer has been lobbying to get banned because it cuts into their profits. It’s medicine that helps millions. I get Kilos shipped to my home on a monthly basis, all perfectly legal. Kratom is the stuff that gets you OFF of heroin and fentanyl!! You idiots!! It’s like suboxone but it doesn’t make your teeth fall out because it’s not made out of poison, and they can’t make any money off it because it’s cheaper and grows out of the ground.
      These cops are assassins for Pfizer and they don’t even know it. He had a daughter!! I hope they feel the pain that they caused his little girl for the rest of their lives. You savages! Smh

      • Very pertinent and factual statement. This bullsh#t needs to stop, and not just Kratom, but anymore loss of liberty due to the use of a substance, whether natural or synthetic, legal or illicit. Do you live in Northeast Arkansas? I am trying to find out some more info on the culture of Kratom prohibition there, or anywhere in the state. I am also trying to find more personal information on Keith Chrestman, the prosecutor who selfishly thought it was better to get a “victory” rather than use his prosecutorial discretion and drop the case, or at the very least proposed a lesser sentence like probation (which would have still be absolutely unjustified). He oversaw Marshall’s trial and boasted about not tolerating drug trafficking in his county. He is directly responsible for Marshall’s death and needs to atone for what he’s done and something has to happen that will countervail his part in Marshall’s death.
        #JusticeforMarshall

  15. This man was beat to death in this jail last night! I pray for justice for his family and loved ones .. this is disgusting!

  16. Kratom is not a narcotic, in any other state but Arkansas, you can walk into a store and purchase it. Where were the guards that allowed this man to be beaten to death, or was it the guards. Where did you find a jury that would believe that Kratom was a narcotic. I think the state of Arkansas has a lot of explaining. May Mr. PRICE rest in peace.

  17. He was 130% not trafficking it either. I used to use kratom everyday and would go through a pound in just a few weeks. That man had his personal supply on him. FTP

  18. This is just fucking insane. I hate cops that power trip and charge innocent people with felony crimes…its so fucking immoral and sickening.

  19. What?? Drug trafficking?! It’s a tea leaf. I take it every day. They put a man in jail for 10 years for a tea leaf?!! “Freedom” is an illusion in this country. What kinda of animals would lock a man in a cage for having what is basically the same as coffee beans??! Is this what you all became LEO for? To imprison innocent men not hurting anyone including themselves. Disgusting. You all should be ashamed. This country is a shell of itself because of you. And you just do what you’re told. Cowards.

  20. This is the phone number of Keith Chrestman, the evil, abhorrent, vile, detestable prosecutor in Marshall’s case. Give him a ring and let him know that his time is up. We won’t stand for this anymore.

    *(870)933-8517

  21. Another man killed by the thugs of a corrupt system for trying to find peace in this crazy world for another harmless plant. This isn’t black and white it’s simple. These people are evil and just want to hurt people. These prosecutors are sadist, narcissistic, greedy and dangerous men and they are in positions of authority. Something is coming for them.

  22. This prosecutor will have to answer to God for this one. Soon maybe even the world as word is getting out. And it is spreading. Keith Chrestman

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