NOV 15 (LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) - William J. Bryant, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock District Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced the arrests today of multiple individuals related to a federal indictment focused on methamphetamine distribution in the central Arkansas area. The organization at the center of the investigation is alleged to have been responsible for the distribution of more than 500 grams of methamphetamine during the time period of July 2011 to November 9, 2012. In a statement Bryant said, “This investigation is a combination of good solid police work and the teamwork of multiple agencies. The Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) has positively impacted our investigative success by providing the additional training and tools necessary to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations in Arkansas.” Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas agreed, “It takes a team of federal, state, and local law enforcement working together to investigate drug trafficking organizations such as this one. Our office is fortunate to work with such dedicated investigative agencies in the continued effort to combat the methamphetamine issues plaguing our state.”
In June 2012, DEA Little Rock District Office Group 62, which is composed of special agents from DEA and Drug Task Force (DTF) Officers from state and local agencies, opened an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation sponsored by DEA. This investigation targeted a large scale drug trafficking organization led by Tarik Bouhamidi of Austin, Arkansas. The investigation revealed that Bouhamidi routinely traveled to Dallas, Texas to obtain large quantities of methamphetamine from a source of supply named Johnny Ybarra. Bouhamidi would then arrange for the methamphetamine to be transported to Arkansas by hired couriers.
This investigation culminated with the November 6, 2012 indictment of Bouhamidi, Ybarra, and 19 other associates for various drug and weapons charges including Conspiracy, Possession with the Intent to Distribute and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Numerous search and seizure warrants were executed in conjunction with the arrests. The investigation has thus far resulted in the seizure of over $66,000 in cash, other miscellaneous assets valued at approximately $10,000, 2.5 pounds of methamphetamine, two firearms, and nine vehicles, including two tractor trailer rigs.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration – Little Rock HIDTA Group 62. Group 62 is composed of the North Little Rock Police Department, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, the Arkansas State Police, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Benton Police Department. Also involved in the investigation were the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the United States Marshals Service; the Internal Revenue Service; the Arkansas National Guard; the Little Rock Police Department; the Jacksonville Police Department; the Lonoke Sheriff’s Office; and the Sherwood Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anne Gardner.
An indictment is an allegation only. Each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in an appropriate court of law. Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.