Law enforcement authorities announced multiple federal indictments following the completion of an early morning raid. The operation resulted in dozens of arrests of suspected drug and illegal gun dealers.
Officials with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Little Rock Police Department (LRPD), and North Little Rock Police Department (NLRPD) announced on May 24 the unsealing of eight federal indictments against 61 suspected drug and illegal gun dealers.
The announcement by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday came after law enforcement officers conducted early morning raids which resulted in the arrests of 25 suspects – joining 27 suspects already in custody – while nine additional suspects are on the run as fugitives.
The largest of the eight unsealed indictments allege heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine conspiracies; multiple methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine possession and distribution charges; and include multiple gun charges.
Patrick C. Harris, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, noted the connection that drug dealers have with violent crime as he praised the different law enforcement agencies that took place in the operation.
“Targeting violent drug dealers remains a priority for my office, as well as for all law enforcement agencies in central Arkansas,” Harris said. “Drugs continue to be a prime source of crime and violence in our city, and taking these criminals off the streets has made Little Rock a safer place. A major operation like this is not possible without the help of all agencies involved, particularly the FBI and the Little Rock and North Little Rock Police Departments. And while today’s operation represents a victory against dangerous criminals, it in no way ends our coordinated efforts to ease crime in Little Rock and improve the lives and security of law-abiding citizens in our city.”
In addition to seizing cocaine, heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl – officers also seized 25 guns and $241,000 in cash.
Little Rock, located in the center of Arkansas, is in territory where the Sinaloa Cartel is considered the dominant regional cartel. The Los Caballeros Templarios – aka the Knights Templar Cartel – is also known to operate within the jurisdiction of the DEA’s Little Rock field office.
The Sinaloa Cartel – based out of Mexico – is considered the largest and most prolific drug trafficking organization in the world. A significant amount of the violence that takes place on the streets of the U.S. is related to drugs that come from the Sinaloa Cartel. The cartel is also known to use violent streets gangs like MS-13 as foot soldiers throughout the U.S.
On May 1, Breitbart Texas reported that a large Sinaloa Cartel cell was taken down by federal authorities in New Mexico with nearly two-dozen suspected drug traffickers taken into custody.
Ryan Saavedra is a contributor for Breitbart Texas and can be found on Twitter at @RealSaavedra.