Federal authorities in Arkansas recently arrested 11 of 13 defendants allegedly involved in a large-scale drug trafficking organization in Blytheville. The arrests, made on Oct. 18, all dealt with drug crimes such as the delivery of drugs or conspiring to deliver drugs. The charges pertained specifically to selling methamphetamine and various weapons possessions.
The operation was directed by the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, along with the special agent in charge of the Little Rock Office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The federal officials used the opportunity to conduct the usual self-congratulatory press conference, indicating their great progress in reducing drug crimes and ridding the streets of drug gangs. They announced that the operation was intended to help the people of northeast Arkansas to combat the plague of methamphetamine.
Authorities indicated that they had stepped up anti-drug operations by bringing in agents from other areas to purchase large quantities of meth. The United States Attorney stated that this was a reminder to drug dealers that authorities would not allow this kind of behavior to go unchecked and unpunished. It may be notable that the statements issued by the officials did not quite talk in the same expansive terms as usual, in that they did not promise to eradicate drug usage and sales from the area.
Since the So called war on drugs began several decades ago, there has been little or no evidence that drug sales have gone anywhere other than up. One of the pitfalls of drug sweeps that arrest a large group of people lies in the tendency to categorize less culpable individuals and higher-placed actors on an equal degree of culpability in the conspiracy’s operations. Criminal defense counsel must be vigilant in Arkansas to assure that authorities have sufficient evidence for the precise drug crimes charges that are claimed against any particular individual.
Source: arkansasmatters.com, “11 Arrested in Northeast Arkansas Meth Trafficking Ring”, Oct. 18, 2016