47 more named on state and federal charges in Delta drug probe | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

47 more named on state and federal charges in Delta drug probe

Posted By on Tue, Nov 10, 2015 at 10:53 AM

U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer has scheduled a news conference at 1 p.m. today in Helena-West Helena to announce further arrests in the ongoing Operation Delta Blues, which has targeted drug dealing and official corruption in East Arkansas 

USA Thyer will announce the unsealing of 11 separate federal indictments charging 39 defendants with drug, gun, and fraud offenses. In addition, eight individuals were arrested on state charges. This operation continues Operation Delta Blues, which began in 2011 and targeted drug crime and corruption in Phillips County. Beginning in the early morning hours today more than 300 law enforcement officers executed arrest warrants in and around Helena-West Helena.

No word yet on whether this round of arrests will include any law officers, as was the case in some earlier charges. Though officers were implicated, thoughts that the investigation could move higher up the law enforcement ladder have so far been unfounded.

UPDATE: No officers named in this batch of charges, which include drug, gun and welfare fraud offenses. They've apparently caught a merchant taking food stamps for beer and cigarettes.

A news release said the arrests resulted from two task forces, the Delta Blues and Operation Plastic Castle, which began in 2011.

“Just over four years ago, during the original Operation Delta Blues, I made a commitment to help clean up the Arkansas Delta,” Thyer said. “It has been evident for some time that violent drug traffickers are overrunning the Arkansas delta, including Phillips County. Today’s operation is a reminder to those criminals that the federal and
state law enforcement authorities will pursue you until this community is returned to its
law-abiding citizens. 

For three years, undercover operators made more than 60 purchases of drugs, acquiring significant amounts of crack cocaine. Wiretaps were also used. Undercover operators also transfer food stamps. 

Twenty-four people were charged in one indictment with defrauding the USDA by selling SNAP (food stamp) benefits at the Stop and Shop. The owner and cashier allegedly allowed trades for beer and cigarettes and cash — equal to about 60 percent of the value of the benefits. An estimated $250,000 was defrauded.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The Clinton anniversary open line

    An open line and a check on the 25th anniversary of Bill Clinton’s presidential election. Already today, Hillary Clinton has signed several thousand copies of her book and made headlines with a Mother Jones interview in which she says the legitimacy of Trump's election remains in doubt.
    • Nov 18, 2017
  • CORRECTION: Downtown gets spruced up with lighting ceremony MONDAY

    A bit of old-time Christmas magic returns to downtown Little Rock MONDAY NIGHT with the lighting of a 55-foot tree at Capitol and Main festooned with lights and custom-made blown-glass topper.
    • Nov 18, 2017
  • Bill and Hillary Clinton talk to be available on the web

    All tickets are taken for a talk this afternoon by Bill and Hillary Clinton, moderated by James Carville, but the event will be streamed on the Clinton School of Public Service website at 3:30 p.m. today.
    • Nov 18, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016
  • Medical marijuana backers: Health Department opposition 'disingenuous' and 'cruel'

    Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the group behind the first medical marijuana initiative to qualify for the ballot, has responded sharply to yesterday's statement by the Arkansas Health Department that it opposes legal medical use of marijuana.
    • Jul 13, 2016

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation