HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – A total of 21 individuals were arrested between May 28-30 in connection with methamphetamine distribution in Garland County through “Operation Blue Sky,” an investigation with the 18th East Judicial District Drug Task Force and other departments that began in January.
During the arrests, 1,813 grams, or four pounds, of methamphetamines were seized along with 37 firearms, many of which were in the possession of convicted felons who are prohibited by law from having firearms.
Beginning in January, the drug task force began purchasing methamphetamine from a targeted group of individuals with Aryan Brotherhood ties. This investigation ultimately led back to distributors related to this group in Garland County, as well as to two illegal aliens with Mexican Cartel ties. The 11 initial arrests were made leading into the week of May 28, two of which have been federally indicted.
On May 28, the Arkansas State Police SWAT team executed a nighttime search warrant at 128 Pocola Street in Garland County. This led to the arrest of four individuals and the seizure of three vehicles and five firearms used in the distribution of narcotics. Methamphetamine, a total of 14 grams, was also located during the execution of the search warrant.
The Hot Springs Police Department executed a search warrant that same morning on 304 Highline Street in Hot Springs. Two individuals were arrested and two firearms and numerous vehicles were seized. Methamphetamine was also located during the execution of this warrant.
Investigations in Pulaski County and Saline County were also conducted with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Agency and Homeland Security Investigations. The arrests were executed with the assistance of the Arkansas Department of Corrections SRT, the U.S. Marshall’s Office, and State Department/DSS. The Garland County Sheriff’s Department, Hot Springs Police Department and Arkansas State Police assisted in the apprehension and transport of the arrestees.
The 18th Judicial District East Drug Task Force is comprised of Investigators from the Arkansas State Police, Garland County Sheriff’s Department, Hot Springs Police Department, 18th Judicial District East Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations.
Criminal charges are only allegations of the violation of law and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.