News and Press Releases


August 29, 2012


Waldron, Arkansas - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of
Arkansas, Bill Bryant, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock District Office of the
Drug Enforcement Administration, and Tom Tatum, Prosecuting Attorney for the Fifteenth Judicial
District, announced that 20 individuals have been charged with drug trafficking and firearms
offenses as part of Operation Great Scott, which targeted a drug trafficking organization centered in
Waldron, Arkansas and with ties to Fort Smith, Waldron, Mena, and Dallas, Texas. 17 individuals
have been indicted in Federal Court and 3 additional individuals have been charged in Scott County
Circuit Court. The investigation has resulted in the seizure of more than 11 pounds of
methamphetamine, more than 70 pounds of marijuana, 28 firearms, two bullet-proof vests, and over
$50,000 in United States currency from members of the organization.

United States Attorney Conner Eldridge commented, “With this case, another drug
trafficking organization in Western Arkansas is now out of business. That is good news for Waldron
and the surrounding area. This case was the result of local, state, and federal law enforcement
working together, and I thank them for that hard work. Drug trafficking organizations take a toll on
our communities. We will continue to find them and prosecute them.”

Drug Enforcement Administration ASAC Bryant stated, “The DEA along with other federal,
state, and local law enforcement agencies are committed to disrupting and dismantling drug
trafficking organizations distributing methamphetamine in our communities.”

Prosecuting Attorney Tatum said, “We are pleased with the great work of local, state, and
federal law enforcement and prosecutors. This case has involved a great deal of time and effort,
and it truly makes a difference for people in our district.”

According to documents filed in court and information discussed in court, the investigation
included over forty controlled purchases of methamphetamine from members of the organization.
In several cases, individuals under age 18 were used to distribute drugs. During the case, one of the
members of the organization, Miguel Paramo, was placed under surveillance as he left Waldron and
drove to Irving, Texas, to pick up a large amount of methamphetamine. After Paramo was stopped
in Dallas, Texas, due to his involvement in a minor motor vehicle accident, officers arrested him for
misdemeanor offenses. A search of his truck revealed approximately 4 pounds of methamphetamine,
which Paramo had intended to transport back to Waldron, Arkansas, and distribute to other members
of the organization. Also during the case, agents from the DEA and the Department of Homeland
Security executed a search warrant of a “stash” house used by the organization and a residence owned
by another member of the organization, Lee Roy Garcia, of Waldron, Arkansas. During these
searches, agents recovered approximately 6 additional pounds of methamphetamine and 8 firearms.

The maximum penalty for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine is life in prison.

Operation Great Scott is a joint operation between the Drug Enforcement Administration, the
Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the 15th Judicial
District Drug Task Force, the Arkansas State Police, the Fort Smith Police Department, the Scott
County Sheriff’s Office, and other local agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay Fowlkes is
prosecuting the federal portion of the case for the U.S. Attorney’s office. Prosecuting Attorney Tom
Tatum’s office is handling the state portion of the case.

The charges in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless
or until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
* * * E N D * * *

The Office of U.S. Attorney
Conner Eldridge
Photo of Conner Eldridge  
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Western District of Arkansas
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