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Press Release – 18th JUDICIAL DISTRICT EAST PROSECUTOR’s OFFICE (Prosecutor Michelle Lawrence)
From the dates of July 10, 2018 through September 20, 2018, various Drug Task Force groups around the State of Arkansas, working in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), executed Operation Task Force. The 18th Judicial District East Drug Task Force joined in this operation. The 18th Judicial District East Drug Task Force focused its investigation on seven (7) individual methamphetamine distributors in Garland County. Controlled purchases were made from all these individuals. Subsequent arrest warrants, as well as one search warrant, were obtained. Upon the execution of these warrants, an additional 29 grams of methamphetamine, 83.6 grams of marijuana and two firearms were located. Three vehicles associated with the sale and distribution of illegal narcotics were confiscated. Two additional individuals were located through the service of said warrants and they were also charged in conjunction with these narcotic seizures.
Agents with Arkansas Community Corrections (Hot Springs Office) and the Arkansas Fugitive Task Force assisted in this Operation, which led to the arrest of an additional four (4) individuals in Garland County. Agent Emerson received information that Joshua Fite, who had alluded law enforcement twice earlier in the week, would be located near Spring Street in a Red Chevrolet Truck. This information was relayed to Sargent Steed with the Arkansas State Police. Sargent Steed subsequently relayed this information to Troopers Tankersley and Robbins, who located the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. The vehicle attempted to flee but was ultimately stopped. After an altercation between Tankersley and Robbins with Joshua Fite, three (3) individuals were taken into custody. Agents from both the Arkansas Community Corrections (Hot Springs Office) and the Drug Task Force arrived on the scene. Agents from the Drug Task Force located inside the vehicle 56.4 grams of methamphetamine, two firearms, and $ 4,573 in US currency. The vehicle was also seized.
An additional individual, Shane Krum, was arrested by the Garland County Sheriff’s Department with over 50 grams of methamphetamine during this Operation and was charged by the United States Attorney’s Office with criminal offenses.
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 United States Homeland Security Investigations.
A special thank you is extended from the 18th Judicial District East Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to Arkansas State Police Troop K, Arkansas Community Corrections (Hot Springs Office), Hot Springs Police Department S.W.A.T Team, and the Garland County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Unit for their assistance during this Operation.
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.