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All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.
Press Release – GARLAND COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY’s OFFICE Drug Task Force (Deputy Prosecutor Trent Daniels)
OPERATION WHITE HORSE
In late May of 2018, Investigators with the 18 Judicial District East Drug Task Force received information of a small group of individuals establishing themselves as heroin distributors in or around the Garland County area. Shortly thereafter, an investigation regarding these individuals began and purchases of heroin began using a confidential informant. On June 7, 2018, Hot Springs had a heroin overdose fatality, where officers attempted to revive an individual using the drug, Narcan. From the information obtained from these incidents, the 18th Judicial District East Drug Task Force began the planning and execution of OPERATION WHITE HORSE.
The core group of six (6) individuals with ties to other states, including California and Texas, were the primary focus. An additional three (3) individuals with links to the original group were added. Heroin and firearms were purchased from these nine (9) individuals. Roughly ½ ounce of heroin, at a street value of $ 3,600, was taken off the streets of Hot Springs and Garland County. In addition to the heroin, three (3) firearms, including an AR-15 assault rifle, were also purchased.
Between the dates of October 16, 2018 and October 18, 2018, the 18th Judicial District East Drug Task Force, along with agents from Arkansas Community Corrections, the Garland County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Unit, the Arkansas State Police, and Hot Springs Police Department SWAT team, began serving Delivery of a Controlled Substance warrants and warrants for Criminal Organization Activity for the individuals involved in this heroin ring. In total, thirteen (13) individuals were arrested with ties to the distribution of both firearms and heroin in Garland County. Several additional amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia were seized. Four (4) additional firearms were also confiscated from convicted felons who are prohibited by law from possessing any weapon or firearm.
The 18th Judicial District East Drug Task Force is comprised of investigators from the Arkansas State Police, Garland County Sheriff’s Department, Hot Springs Police Department, 18th Judicial District East Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations.
It must be noted that criminal charges are only allegations and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.