FOX16.com

UPDATE: 23 charged in 'Operation Ice Pick'

Police arrest 17 and are looking for six more in what's being called a major drug crackdown in Clark County on Thursday. All of it centering around methamphetamine and crack cocaine.
GURDON, AR - Police arrest 17 and are looking for six more in what's being called a major drug crackdown in Clark County on Thursday. All of it centering around methamphetamine and crack cocaine.

A seemingly endless stream of suspects, seventeen in all, loaded onto a bus on Thursday just outside Gum Springs.

All charged with trafficking methamphetamine and cocaine in and around Gurdon, Arkadelphia and Malvern.

At an afternoon press conference at city hall in Gurdon, people lined up to see the faces and names of those charged, many of them familiar in a town of just over 2,000 residents.

Conner Eldridge, United States attorney for the Western District of Arkansas says indictments were unsealed in federal court on eight suspects, the remaining fifteen are charged in circuit court in both Clark and Hot Spring County.

"One of the significant things that stands out about this case is that in many of the situations is children were present during these drug transactions," Eldridge told reporters.

Leeann Cummings was one of those residents who attended the press conference. She told FOX16 News that she knows Candalario Leon, one of the 23 charged, and father to her young niece and nephew.

"It's just terribly sad for the children and terribly sad that it happened," Cummings says.

Operation Ice Pick, named because of the connotation to an ice pick chipping away at the drug trade, is a year-long investigation of controlled drug buys in four cities including Gurdon, Arkadelphia, Conway and Malvern.

Chris Williams lives next door to one of the houses raided Thursday in Gurdon but says he's never seen any drug activity from his neighbors.

"These fellas are good guys, they're from the community,” Williams says. “They went to the same school, go to the same church that I go to."

According to the U.S. Attorney, even though there are no formal charges saying so, several of the drug transactions happened near a school.

Knocks on the doors of both houses raided in Gurdon today yielded no response.

In all, officers say they seized $52,000 in cash along with meth, cocaine and marijuana.

"Little kids who grow up in Gurdon or in any small town in Arkansas, deserve to go to school, play on playground or go home and not have drugs in their homes," Eldridge says.

Eldridge says nearly all the methamphetamine or “ice” sold in Arkansas is produced in Mexico. He added cutting off the supply is always a key priority, but the arrests today go a long way to making a dent in drug trafficking in the area.

The raid went down around 6am. Police say there was no violence and no incidents during any of the arrests.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus

Weather Right Now

78°F
Clear
High: 93°F
Low: 75°F

7 day forecast