LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Federal prosecutors, along with numerous law enforcement agencies, announced Monday 61 people have been arrested over the last week in a targeted effort to curb violent crime in the Little Rock area.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas said the arrests were part of “Operation Ceasefire.”
According to federal prosecutors, law enforcement identified the most violent people in the Little Rock area and focused on those who had active arrest warrants. The United States Marshals Service, Little Rock Police Department and the FBI’s Gange Enforcement Task Force came together to identify, find and arrest the 61 people.
According to federal prosecutors and Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey, nine of Little Rock’s 10 most wanted fugitives were arrested within the first four hours of the effort.
According to Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ross, the people arrested were wanted for crimes including capital murder, rape, aggravated assault, battery, terroristic act, aggravated robbery, drug and other charges.
Ross also noted 10 of the people arrested also face a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to federal prosecutors, the 61 arrested face 78 felonies and 27 misdemeanors in total.
Authorities also seized 12 firearms and $16,095 in cash during the arrests, prosecutors said.
According to the Little Rock Police Department, violent crime has increased by 16 percent in the capital city from 2020 to 2021.
“Our intent to combat violent crime is not something new,” Ross said.
Ross said the effort started in March with Humphrey calling his office for support, with additional meetings in April and May.
Humphrey said he wants to make sure the people of Little Rock know they have the right to live in peace.
The police chief said he recognizes there are some “really bad people” in the city.
“If you’re a violent person in this city, we’re going to get you,” Humphrey said.
Humphrey also noted during the press conference that his department held a town hall at Arkansas Baptist College, which he hopes to continue on a quarterly basis. The police chief also talked about his officers walked the neighborhoods of the city on Saturday to encourage people to take a peace pledge and the department’s involvement in the Celebrity Cease Fire Basketball Game, where he said the community came together. The full news conference can be viewed in the video player above.