Arrests Dismantle Craighead County Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization
LITTLE ROCK - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas; along with David Downing, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Jonesboro Police Department Chief Kenton Buckner; and Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd announced the unsealing of a 43-count indictment charging multiple defendants in Arkansas and California, with multiple drug charges. An investigation into a large-scale drug trafficking organization based in Jonesboro resulted in the early-morning arrests of ten defendants on charges involving the distribution of methamphetamine.
“The arrests today effectively dismantled this Jonesboro-based drug trafficking organization,” stated Thyer. “We not only made arrests here in Eastern Arkansas, but also have traffickers from San Jose, California and Michigan in custody. Together, with the DEA and our federal, state and local partners in Arkansas and across the nation, we will investigate, arrest and prosecute those who seek to bring meth into our neighborhoods.”
The investigation began in February 2013. Multiple undercover operations and numerous other law enforcement actions, including multiple seizures of methamphetamine were used during the investigation. All told, the DEA seized approximately 96 pounds of methamphetamine which has an estimated street value of $1.9 million.
Through the course of the investigation, DEA learned that Joseph Farrell was a large-scale methamphetamine dealer in the Jonesboro area, selling between 5 and 15 pounds of methamphetamine per week. Farrell had sources of supply for methamphetamine in both Blytheville and San Jose, California, and Farrell occasionally received shipments of methamphetamine and marijuana from his source in California through FedEx.
The indictment, unsealed today, was handed down by a Federal Grand Jury on October 8, 2014. The indictment charges 22 defendants in 43 separate counts. The counts include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and using a communication facility in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. If convicted of conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams methamphetamine, each defendant will face a sentence of not less than 10 years to life imprisonment.
The investigation was conducted by the DEA, with assistance from multiple law enforcement agencies including: the Jonesboro Police Department, the Craighead County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas State Police, and United States Marshal Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Chris Givens and Benecia Moore.
An indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.