The Drug Enforcement Administration, in conjunction with federal and state prosecutors, announced Friday an “unprecedented enforcement action spanning across the state of Arkansas in a combined effort to reverse the horrible effects on communities produced by violent drug traffickers,” according to a news release.
As part of this effort, dubbed Operation Task Force Arkansas, the takedown operation resulted in the arrest of 1,260 individuals on federal and state charges and the seizure of 211 firearms, over 37 kilograms of methamphetamine, 1,293 pounds of marijuana, 47 kilograms of cocaine, almost one kilogram of heroin, 228,913 controlled prescription pills, $357,399 in U.S. currency and 32 vehicles.
“With this operation, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies have severely disrupted multiple drug trafficking organizations operating in Arkansas,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Justin King. “These enforcement actions will have an immediate impact on the drug trafficking organizations ability to conduct business as usual. The operation culminated in enforcement actions taken over the course of several days, which exemplify the outstanding cooperation among law enforcement agencies here in our state.”
“In my seven years as an elected state prosecutor, I came to depend on the important work done by drug task forces,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Cody Hiland said. “This significant operation, which led to the arrest of hundreds of criminals, underscores just how valuable these task forces are in the law enforcement toolbox. As United States Attorney, my office stands ready, willing, and eager to work with our local and state partners to ensure a safer Arkansas for its citizens.”
“This week’s operation is a great example on how effective we can be when we work together,” said U.S. Attorney DAK Kees. “I am thankful for all the hard work and dedication from all our state and local task force officers and special agents.”
Operation Task Force Arkansas was led by the DEA Little Rock District Office and Arkansas’ 19 Drug Task Forces, who partnered with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies across the state for a combined enforcement and investigative effort. Over 200 law enforcement officers, analysts and support personnel worked together in this coordinated effort targeting the most violent and dangerous drug traffickers and drug trafficking organizations preying on our communities through the smuggling and distribution of illegal and dangerous drugs and the associated violence which is directly tied to such crimes.
The following agencies participated in the operation: DEA, United States Attorney’s Office – Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Federal Bureau of Investigation, ICE - Enforcement and Removal Operations and Homeland Security Investigations, United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Marshals Service, Arkansas Highway Police, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, Arkansas Community Corrections, Arkansas Office of the Drug Director, 19 Drug Task
Forces throughout Arkansas, multiple police departments and sheriff’s offices throughout Arkansas, and Arkansas District Attorney offices. Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.