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15 Women and Men Arrested in Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma Methamphetamine Ring Bust

October 28, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.– 15 people have been arrested by local, state, and federal law enforcement as part of an investigation into methamphetamine trafficking in Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

Kenneth Elser, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced the round-up took place after a year-long investigation into methamphetamine trafficking in Boone, Baxter, Searcy, Newton, Benton and Washington Counties in Arkansas, along with McDonald County in Missouri and parts of Oklahoma. Eleven defendants were arrested on federal charges and four were arrested on state charges.

Law enforcement also executed seven federal and 4 state search warrants in Arkansas and one federal search warrant in Missouri.

On October 5, a federal grand jury returned three separate indictments charging 19 individuals in the Harrison, AR and Missouri area with a large-scale drug trafficking conspiracy. The indictments included a total of 37 counts, all of which involved the distribution of methamphetamine.

The names of those charged in the case was not released individually by the office of the US Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, however, three other defendants in the case, Juan Delacruz Albarran, Juan Ramirez Vargas and Joseph Macormick Elder, had already been arrested on federal charges and are in custody.

“Today’s arrests reflect our commitment to removing criminal organizations trafficking methamphetamine into our communities throughout Arkansas,” stated Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge with the FBI in Little Rock. “We must be diligent and wipe out these networks in Arkansas. We appreciate the efforts of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, and the state and federal prosecutors who faithfully work to reduce overall crime and improve the quality of life for Arkansans.”

David Ethridge, Prosecuting Attorney for the 14th Judicial District of Arkansas commented, “I would like to thank the many law enforcement officers that worked so hard and so long on this investigation. By combining resources and working together, we were able to accomplish what none of us could have otherwise accomplished on our own.”

The federal defendants who were arrested today will appear in the United States District in Fort Smith before United States Magistrate Judge Mark Ford early next week.

This was a joint investigation between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the 14th Judicial Drug Task Force, the 14th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Arkansas State Police, the Boone County Sheriff, the Newton County Sheriff, the Searcy County Sheriff, the Carroll County Sheriff, the Baxter County Sheriff, the Washington County Sheriff, the McDonald County, MO Sheriff, the Harrison Police Department, the Springdale Police Department, the Arkansas National Guard, the United States Marshal’s Office, the Mayes County, Oklahoma District Attorney’s Office, and the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA).

Assistant United States Attorney Brandon Carter is prosecuting the case for the Western District of Arkansas.