PINE BLUFF, Ark. – A simple 911 call in Pine Bluff turned into a federal investigation, resulting in the first of its kind, later convicting an Oklahoma man.
The Pine Bluff Police want to remind you how a 911 call can be a game-changer to stop crime.
Five years ago, Pine Bluff PD received a call from a local armorer who was shipped counterfeit gun parts for cerakoting.
Cerakoting is the process of applying a coat to improve the durability of firearms.
The parts were sent from who we know now as Andrew Pierson, an Oklahoma man that was trafficking guns for 2 Mexican cartels.
Pierson was sentenced to 12-years in prison on Tuesday.
The 911 call by the Pine Bluff man led to the operation “Thor’s Hammer” which involved 8 federal law enforcement agencies.
Pine Bluff PD Deputy Matthew Pate who assisted with “Thor’s Hammer” says, “this is a real good case of an engaged citizens” that “saw something and said something,” a method he begs people to use.
This case is the first in the country where a U.S. citizen has been indicted and fully prosecuted for this kind of activity.
“It was an important day for the nation, the first case of its kind,” said Pate.
Pate says he understands that there is hesitancy to call police but “majority of the time, making the call outweighs whatever theoretical risk” a person has.
He says the key takeaway from this case is that no call is ever too small.
“In this case, one phone call saved lives and stopped a very dangerous Mexican drug cartel.”
Pate adds that “policing is at its best is when collaborating with its citizens.”
So, if you see something, say something, and remember, you can remain anonymous.