Local law enforcement officers from across Central Arkansas appeared at a Monday press conference in North Little Rock to announcement the indictment of 23 men officers classified as repeat offenders in their 30s and 40s arrested on drug-related charges.
Christopher R. Thyer, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Michael A. Davis, Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock District Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and North Little Rock Police Department Chief Mike Davis announced the arrests of multiple individuals related to a federal indictment focused on cocaine and crack cocaine distribution in the North Little Rock, Little Rock, and Saline County areas. The organization at the center of the investigation is alleged to have been responsible for the distribution of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine during the time period of November 2011 through March 2014.
“My office will continue to dismantle these drug operations in our neighborhoods,” stated Thyer. “Getting the career criminals off the streets is one of the highest priorities in this office. We will prosecute these cases to the fullest extent of the law to take back our neighborhoods for the law abiding citizens.”
“This case started in January of 2013 after complaints were received of drug sales occurring in several locations in the area around 16th-18th Street West of Pike Avenue,” stated Chief Davis. “ Our narcotics division began working on the issue and were able to gather information and make several controlled drug sales of crack cocaine. Investigators reached out to the Drug Enforcement Administration who began working with us as the case began to reach out to other communities. Now that these subjects have been apprehended we will continue to work in this area and encourage citizens to call in with any additional complaints of drug sales. This will make a difference.”
In the Spring of 2013, NLRPD and the DEA began a joint investigation of a cocaine and crack cocaine distribution organization operating out of North Little Rock. The investigation revealed that since late 2011, a cocaine distribution cell linked to McAllen, Texas was operating from a location in rural Saline County. The investigation revealed that the head of the cell was an individual from the Mc Allen area named Hector Delgado. Delgado, along with his associate Wilmer Geovani Fuentes-Ramos imported multiple kilograms of cocaine from the McAllen, Texas area, which they distributed through two individuals in the Little Rock area, Roosevelt Martin and Robert Young, Jr. Martin and Young distributed kilogram quantities to several individuals, including Tellys Clemmons, Mantrel Young, Ivory Johnson, and Harold Allen, Jr. Allen, a resident of North Little Rock, distributed cocaine to Tyrone Washington, who converted the cocaine to crack cocaine and distributed crack cocaine from a house located in the Vestal Park area of North Little Rock. Over the course of 2012 and 2013, the drug trafficking organization was responsible for distributing 8-10 kilograms of cocaine per week in the Little Rock area with a street value of $248,000 to $310,000.
The investigation culminated with an April 2, 2014 indictment of Delgado, Fuentes-Ramos and 21 associates for drug and weapons charges. The investigation has thus far resulted in the seizure of over $142,000 cash and other assets valued at approximately $11,000; over 10 kilograms of cocaine; approximately 11 ounces of crack cocaine with a street value of $13,200; 11 vehicles, and 11 firearms.
This case was investigated by the North Little Rock Police Department in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration – Little Rock HIDTA Group 62 composed of officers from the North Little Rock Police Department, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Benton Police Department and the Arkansas State Police. Also involved in the investigation were the United States Marshal’s Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives; Arkansas National Guard; Little Rock Police Department; Bryant Police Department; Jacksonville Police Department; and the Saline County Sheriff’s Department.
Thyer added, “An indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”