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OPERATION “MEILKE WAY” LEADS TO INDICTMENT OF 22 INDIVIDUALS

January 17, 2012

Little Rock - 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 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and North Little Rock Police Chief Danny Bradley announced arrests stemming from a thirty-six (36) count superseding indictment involving federal drug offenses and witness tampering. The superseding indictment, which charged twenty-two (22) individuals, is the result of an investigation, “Operation Meilke Way.”

The DEA Little Rock District Office Group # 2, which is composed of Special Agents from DEA and Drug Task Force (DTF) Officers from the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, North Little Rock Police Department, Benton Police Department, Arkansas State Police, and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, opened an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation sponsored by DEA. As part of the OCDETF investigation, officers were deputized under the OCDETF Operation from the following agencies: Independence County Sheriff’s Office, Central Arkansas Drug Task Force, 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force, Arkansas State Police, and North Little Rock Police Department.

This investigation targeted a large scale drug trafficking organization distributing multi-pound quantities of methamphetamine in central, north, and northeast Arkansas. The methamphetamine 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 (HIDTA), 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 defendants were arrested and taken into custody. A seventh defendant was separately complained and an arrest warrant was issued later that day.

Today, federal arrest warrants were executed by the above agencies and 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.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration - Little Rock HIDTA Group 62 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 was the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Independence County Sheriff’s Office; the 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force; the 16th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney’s Office; the Central Arkansas Drug Task Force; the Arkansas National Guard; and the Maumelle Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by First Assistant United States Attorney Jane W. Duke and Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Mazzanti.

An indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

ATTACHMENT TO MEILKE WAY NEWS RELEASE

DEFENDANTS/CHARGES

Jorge Rojas-Olivera, age 27, of Batesville, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute (PWID) 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Counts 2 & 3 - PWID a methamphetamine mixture; Count 36 - witness tampering.

Michael Richard Meilke, age 38, of Bradford, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Count 4 - PWID a methamphetamine mixture; Count 5 - possession of a firearm in furtherance of a federal drug trafficking crime; Count 6 - PWID more than 5 grams of methamphetamine actual; Counts 7 & 8 - PWID more than 50 grams of a methamphetamine mixture.

Kriston D. Birmingham, age 32, of Bradford, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture.

Maynor Efren Bravo-Fuentes, age 46, of Batesville, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Counts 9 & 10 - PWID methamphetamine mixture; Count 11 - PWID more than 5 grams of methamphetamine actual; Count 12 - PWID more than 50 grams of methamphetamine actual within 1,000 feet of an elementary school; Count 13 - PWID more than 50 grams of a methamphetamine mixture on premises in which a minor is present or resides.

Flora DeMaria Mendez-Ixlaj, a/k/a Flor Mendez-Vasquez, age 22, of Batesville - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Count 13 - PWID more than 50 grams of a methamphetamine mixture on premises in which a minor is present or resides.

Juana Patricia Bamac-Perez, age 32, of Batesville, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Count 14 - PWID more than 5 grams of methamphetamine actual on premises in which a minor is present or resides; Count 15 - PWID methamphetamine mixture; Count 16 - PWID more than 50 grams of methamphetamine actual on premises in which a minor is present or resides.

Selvin Garcia-Garcia, a/k/a Jose Villarreal, age 23, of Batesville, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Count 15 - PWID methamphetamine mixture; Count 16 - PWID more than 50 grams of methamphetamine actual on premises in which a minor is present or resides.

Steve Marroquin, age 50, of Batesville, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Count 17-19 - PWID methamphetamine mixture.

Eddy Boche, age 25, of Berryville - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Count 20 - PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture.

Jose Samuel Garcia, age 40, of Green Forest, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Count 21 - PWID more than 50 grams methamphetamine mixture.

Terry Wayne Green , age 54, of Pleasant Plains, AR- Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Count 22 - PWID more than 50 grams methamphetamine mixture.

Paul Randall Hussey, age 41, of North Little Rock, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Counts 23-24, 26 - PWID methamphetamine mixture; Count 25 - PWID more than 50 grams methamphetamine mixture.

Rex Ramey Davis, age 48, of Judsonia, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture.

Ronald Clyde White, age 64, of Bald Knob, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Count 27 - PWID more than 500 grams methamphetamine mixture.

Stephen Earl Hill, age 39, of Maumelle, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Count 28 - PWID methamphetamine mixture; Count 30 - PWID 50 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture.

Angelique N. Kennedy, age 38, of Maumelle, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Count 29 - PWID 5 grams or more of methamphetamine actual; Count 30 - PWID 50 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture.

Rodolfo Longoria, a/k/a Rodolfo Longoria III, age 44, of Jacksonville, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Counts 31 & 32 - PWID methamphetamine mixture.

Sarah Jean Andres, age 36, of Mound, MN - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Count 32 - PWID methamphetamine mixture.

Joshua A. Hawley, age 28, of Benton, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture.

Kevin Randall Hyder, age 36, of North Little Rock, AR - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Count 33 - PWID 50 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture.

Nathan Harris Henry, age 33, of California, MO - Count 1 - Conspiracy to PWID 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture.

Rhanda Rachael Ramey, age 30, of North Little Rock, AR. - Count 1 - Conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver (PWID) 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture; Counts 34 & 35 - PWID methamphetamine mixture.

STATUTORY SENTENCES

PWID - Not more than 20 years incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) with a possible fine of up to $1 million and not less than 3 years supervised release

PWID/Conspiracy 50 grams methamphetamine mixture/5 grams methamphetamine actual - Not less than 5 years to Not more than 40 years BOP; fine of up to $5 million and not less than 4 years supervised release

PWID/Conspiracy 500 grams methamphetamine mixture/50 grams methamphetamine actual - Not less than 10 years to Not more than Life BOP; fine of up to $10 million and not less than 5 years supervised release

PWID Methamphetamine on premises where minor is present or resides - Not more than 20 years BOP consecutive, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.

Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a federal drug trafficking crime - NLT 5 years incarceration BOP, fine of up to $250,000, and not more than 5 years supervised release.

Witness Tampering - NMT life, $250,000, or both, and not more than 5 years supervised release.


(Gulf Coast HIDTA 2010 Annual ReportAdobe Icon Image)

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Christopher R. Thyer

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