LITTLE ROCK, AR- A nearly 3-year-long investigation by the DEA and local law enforcement into drug trafficking in the Pine Bluff area has resulted in 24 arrests. 10 others facing drug charges are at large.
"Drug dealers don't work 8 to 5. These guys put a lot of time in," said Bill Bryant, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Drug Enforcement Agency.
Bryant said the operation started back in April 2009. Undercover agents identified Quentin Tidwell and Kennan Packard as major kingpins-- distributing between 3 and 4 kilograms of cocaine a month to Little Rock, Stuttgart, Humphrey, Altheimer, and Dumas. Three to four kilograms of cocaine equal nearly $70,000.
"That's what we try to do: attack the main organization and disrupt and dismantle from the bottom and distributor as the source," said Bryant.
No one got hurt. Agents discovered weapons, more drugs, and cash at a warehouse. Bryant considers the bust successful because of the teamwork on the federal, state and local levels.
"With the economy the way it is, in shortages as manpower, every one of these agency heads felt drug enforcement is important and contributed manpower to it," said Bryant.
Pine Bluff Police Chief Brenda Davis Jones said the streets are a bit safer but the force won't stop fighting against drugs.
"We still have crime in Pine Bluff. It's going to put a dent in it but it's like anything else you kill one roach, one pops up in another place," she said.