Stan Morris at NEA Report reports that the State Police are investigating the circumstances of the death Thursday of Marshall Ray Price, 46, of Paragould, who was in custody of the Greene County sheriff following conviction for trafficking in kratom, an herbal extract that is a controlled substance in Arkansas and five other states.
Morris quotes Price’s daughter as saying that when the family was called to a hospital early Thursday the coroner said the death had been reported to State Police because her father had a “skull fracture, broken ribs, busted spleen, and his brain was swelling which led him into cardiac arrest.”
Price was hospitalized Wednesday afternoon. There have been no details released on how he was injured.
State Police confirmed they were investigating but said they were awaiting word from the medical examiner on the manner and cause of death.
Price was convicted Nov. 16 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for trafficking in a controlled substance — kratom. His defense wanted to argue, over the state’s objection, that the herbal extract was purchased legally at a convenience store in Missouri where its sale and possession are legal. It is illegal in only six states. The state said the substance’s status in other states was irrelevant to whether he’d broken the law in Arkansas.
dPrice was stopped in May 2021 for a defective tail light and found in possession of more than 200 grams of kratom. The quantity was sufficient to support a charge of trafficking. He also was charged with driving without a license.
Here’s some background on kratom’s legal status in Arkansas from a website that is an advocate of the substance.