LITTLE ROCK—A letter carrier from West Memphis was sentenced Wednesday for his role in a methamphetamine conspiracy that federal authorities have charged as Operation “Money Don’t Sleep.” Hayward Cleavon Shaw, 44, was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge James M. Moody. Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced today’s sentencing.
Operation “Money Don’t Sleep,” run by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, is an ongoing investigation focused on lowering violent crime that stems from the distribution of illegal drugs. The goal of the operation is to identify and dismantle multiple drug trafficking organizations that distribute cocaine and methamphetamine. The investigation was initiated in 2015 by the DEA Little Rock District Office and the West Memphis Police Department.
Shaw, while working as a postal employee, would assist drug distributors by helping them locate and divert packages. In particular, on January 27, 2017, a package was on its way to West Memphis from Moreno Valley, California. Law enforcement was tracking this package as part of their investigation. Once agents intercepted the package, DEA deployed a canine, who alerted to the presence of narcotics in the package. Agents obtained a search warrant, which revealed over 2500 grams of methamphetamine in the package.
The first phase of “Money Don’t Sleep” previously resulted in the arrests of 50 defendants in July 2017. With those drug traffickers removed, new distributors emerged to fill the void left in the drug market, leading to 22 more arrests in June 2019. Shaw was charged on July 11, 2017, with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and theft of mail by a postal employee.
Judge Moody also sentenced Shaw, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine on April 11, 2019, to two years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment. The theft of mail charge was dismissed as part of Shaw’s plea agreement.
The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General, and the West Memphis Police Department.