Operation “Meilke Way” leads to indictment of 22

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, William J. Bryant, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock District Office of the DEA, and North Little Rock Police Chief Danny Bradley announced arrests stemming from a 36 count superseding indictment involving federal drug offenses and witness tampering. The superseding indictment, which charged 22 people, is the result of “Operation Meilke Way.”

The DEA Little Rock District Office Group # 2, opened an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation sponsored by DEA. This investigation targeted a large scale drug trafficking organization distributing multi-pound quantities of methamphetamine in central, north, and northeast Arkansas. The meth was smuggled from Mexico to north and central Arkansas for distribution. In total, law enforcement seized 13.3 pounds of methamphetamine, 7 vehicles, $163,590, and 5 guns.

“The combined efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement made the success of this operation possible,” stated Thyer. “Our office is committed to the continued effort to combat the methamphetamine issues plaguing our state, particularly where, as reflected by the charges here, defendants engage in drug trafficking in homes with children present and near schools.”

Bryant agreed, “This investigation is a combination of good solid police work and the teamwork of multiple agencies.” Bryant added, “Through the inclusion of Arkansas into the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, law enforcement is provided additional training and tools to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations in Arkansas.”

The Grand Jury returned the original indictment charging Michael Meilke on August 2,
2011. On Monday, December 12, 2011, four federal search warrants were executed by the above agencies in Independence County and White County. A total of six people were arrested and taken into custody. A seventh person was separately complained and an arrest warrant was issued later that day.

On January 17, four arrests were made. Five defendants were already in custody on state charges. A total of seventeen defendants are in custody. Five have been summoned to appear. Only one, Rhanda Rachael Ramey, is a fugitive. Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Ramey should contact DEA at 501-217-6500 or North Little Rock Police Department by calling 911.

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