The historic drug and public corruption round-up in Helena / West Helena is already taking on a marketing life of its own with "Operation Delta Blues" merchandise.
What better way to commemorate a massive federal raid on your hometown than with a teddy bear or what about an “Operation Delta Blues” tank-top.
Cotton Rohrscheib sees the federal raid on his childhood hometown of Helena-West Helena as an end to corruption in the arkansas delta.
"Everyone you talk to down there, yes they are upset that they are in the news again because of something bad," Rohrscheib says. "But I'm looking at this like the mayor (Arnell Willis) and other people have said, this is going to be a turning point, things are finally going to get turned around down there."
So the Conway based software developer says he came up with the idea for the "King Cotton Thread Company"
on-line store at 2am earlier this week.
"The thing everyone was talking about was the helicopters that they saw so I was originally envisioning the state of Arkansas, the Delta with helicopters, so that's where the idea came from," Rohrscheib says.
The t-shirts, mugs, and teddy bears are already on sale and he hopes "Operation Delta Blues" is remembered as a positive moment.
"The town has some of the best people you will ever meet in your life, some of the hardest working people, but over the last few years that area has been taking a hit every time you turn around," Rohrscheib says.
Rohrscheib says the proceeds from his on-line store will go to help building an animal shelter in Phillips County and for caring for the homeless population in central Arkansas through the non-profit “The Van”
, as long as the FBI or DEA don't come calling for using their likeness on the website.
"I think I'm ok, I hope I'm ok, if not we'll take it down," Rohrscheib says.
FOX16 News placed calls to both the Little Rock office of the DEA and FBI about the "Operation Delta Blues" themed store.
FBI spokesman Steve Frazier says the public is not free to use FBI seals or lettering without FBI permission. The DEA did not return our call.
In response, artwork on the website was modified Thursday evening to eliminate direct references to either agency.