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JOINT METHAMPHETAMINE INVESTIGATION LEADS TO INDICTMENT OF 21 INDIVIDUALS

November 15, 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 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 June of 2012, 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. This investigation targeted a large scale drug trafficking organization led by Tarik Bouhamidi of Austin, Arkansas. Investigation revealed that Bouhamidi routinely traveled to Dallas, Texas to obtain large amounts 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.

The investigation culminated with a November 6, 2012 indictment of Bouhamidi, Ybarra, and 19 associates for various drug and weapons charges. 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; two and ½ pounds of methamphetamine; 9 vehicles, including two tractor-trailer rigs; and 2 firearms.

“It takes a team of federal, state, and local law enforcement working together to investigate drug trafficking organizations such as this one,” stated Thyer. “Our office is fortunate to work with such dedicated investigative agencies in the continued effort to combat the methamphetamine issues plaguing our state.”

Bryant agreed, “This investigation is a combination of good solid police work and the teamwork of multiple agencies.” Bryant added, “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.”

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 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 contains only allegations. Each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Christopher R. Thyer

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