Multi-Agency Partnership Announces Operation Street Sweeper

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Scott Ellington
Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney
Phone: (870) 932-1513

Multi-Agency Partnership Announces Operation Street Sweeper

BLYTHEVILLE, AR – The Second Judicial District Drug Task Force along with the Blytheville Police Department, the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Department, the Osceola Police Department, the Jonesboro Police Department, the Arkansas State Police, and the Arkansas National Guard Counter Drug Unit simultaneously executed search warrants at five residences within the City of Blytheville today.  The occupants of the residences were believed to be working as a neighborhood based loosely affiliated criminal organization with ties to drug trafficking and the possession of firearms including assault style rifles. The multi-agency raid was the culmination of a four-month investigation and involved more than fifty area police officers.

The search warrants included the primary residences of some suspected drug dealers and also their “Traps”. The term “Trap” is slang used to identify a residence used solely for the sale of controlled substances. Dealers commonly use the residences to hamper law enforcement investigations and conceal the location where they store larger amounts of drugs, firearms, and money. These “Traps” are also used in an attempt to insulate the dealer from criminal liability in the event law enforcement locates illegal items inside the residence as the dealer often has the residence and its utilities listed under several different names so they can claim they have no dominion or control over items found inside. This makes the investigation of these types of cases more difficult and time consuming for law enforcement.

The multi-county investigation resulted in the arrests of ten individuals and the seizure of nine firearms, along with several quantities of marijuana, crystal methamphetamine and cocaine, crack cocaine and ecstasy.  Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said, “The Second Judicial District Drug Task Force is a multi-agency cooperative effort focused on combating the distribution and possession of illicit controlled substances within Northeast Arkansas. The drug trade often leads to violent crimes. Our mission tonight was to execute arrest warrants obtained during this four-month investigation. Agents also obtained search warrants to seize firearms and drugs in an effort to remove them from the streets of Blytheville. Dozens of officers with Blytheville PD, Osceola PD, Mississippi County Sheriff’s Department, Jonesboro PD, Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas National Guard Counter Drug Unit braved sub-freezing weather to carry out this mission. I appreciate their hard work and dedication to make our community safer.  This operation worked only because of the cooperation of our partners Sheriff Dale Cook, Blytheville Chief Ross Thompson, Osceola Chief Ollie Collins, Jonesboro Chief Rick Elliott and Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd; with the assistance of Colonel Bill Bryant of the Arkansas State Police and Major General Mark Berry of the Arkansas National Guard.

Those arrested were Katrina Kuykendall (30), Kenyunta Aldridge (38), Carlos Wells (44), Solomon Malone (24), Winsley Henry III (42), Artrille Coleman (39), Tyree Johnson (19), Africa Wells (44), JP Smith III (36), and Deanna Perry (29).  Each will appear before Blytheville District Judge Shannon Langston on Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

All those arrested are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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Jury Convicts Man of Second-Degree Murder in Mississippi County

BLYTHEVILLE, AR – Allan Curtis Jones, 27, was convicted yesterday of second-degree murder in the death of Mike Wallace. On October 27, 2016, a verbal altercation between Wallace and Jones over the spraying of Dicamba escalated to violence, and Jones shot Wallace multiple times. Circuit Judge Cindy Thyer followed the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Jones to 18 years in prison on charge of murder second and six years on the enhancement charge of using a firearm while committing a felony. The terms run consecutively. The jury was made up of six men and six women. Jones’s attorneys requested an appeal bond and the judge set that amount at $50,000.

 

Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Gina Knight and Curtis Walker prosecuted the case for the State of Arkansas. Second Judicial Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said, “I want to thank both Deputy Prosecutors Gina Knight and Curtis Walker for their diligence and attention to this case. Thanks to their hard work, they secured a conviction in this difficult case. I would also like to thank the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office and Detective Preston Williams for their great police work on this case.”

Multi-Agency Partnership Announces Drug Bust

JONESBORO, AR – Officers of the Second Judicial District Drug Task Force, the Jonesboro Police Department, the Craighead County Sheriff’s Department, the Paragould Police Department, Arkansas Community Correction, and the Arkansas State Police executed twenty-three arrest warrants in Jonesboro, Paragould, Trumann, and Marked Tree on Wednesday, December 13, 2017. The warrants were executed in support of a lengthy investigation involving the distribution of methamphetamine and opiates in Craighead, Greene, and Poinsett Counties. More than twenty officers representing these agencies participated in the service of the warrants.

The multi-county investigation resulted in the seizure of approximately one pound of methamphetamine and 400 hydrocodone pills, along with numerous items of paraphernalia such as baggies, scales, and pipes. Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said, “The Second Judicial District Drug Task Force is a multi-agency cooperative effort focused on combating the distribution and possession of illicit controlled substances within Northeast Arkansas. The success of today’s operation is a direct result of the commitment of Chief Rick Elliot, Sheriff Marty Boyd, Chief Todd Stovall, the members of the Second Judicial District Drug Task Force, and the efforts of the officers involved in the investigation. I appreciate their hard work and dedication to make our community a better place to live and raise a family.”

Arrested in the operation were:
Larry Bean
Donnie Dority
Jeremie Farris
Teresa Fields
Ginger Goodman
Joshua Hamilton
Willis Hooks
Kyle Ivy
Larry Knowlton
Melissa Lambdin
Anthony McMiller
Christina Metcalf
Holly Parker
Kelly Payton
Dawn Irvin Quinn
Tanya Ramirez
Daniel Russell
Reginald Stapleton
Lacey Taber
Brooke Taylor
William Tusing
Jonnie Williams
James Williams

The investigation is still ongoing, and law enforcement officials expect more arrests to be made. All defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.

Click image to enlarge.

Teen Pleads Guilty to Rape in Mississippi County

BLYTHEVILLE, AR – Carlo Love, 18, pleaded guilty to the rape of two girls, ages 11 and 8, today in Mississippi County Circuit Court. He received twenty years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections, which will be followed by a ten-year suspended imposition of sentence. On November 19, 2016, the victims were at their grandfather’s house when Love asked if they wanted to play a game, and locked the two girls in a room with him. The juveniles were taken to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital afterwards, where DNA evidence was recovered.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Curtis Walker and Gina Knight prosecuted the case for the State of Arkansas. Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said, “I want to thank Deputy Prosecutors Curtis Walker and Gina Knight for their diligence and effort to keep this sexual predator away from the citizens of Blytheville. I also want to extend my thanks to Investigator Katherine Chlapecka with the Crimes Against Children Division and Eric Farrell with the Blytheville Police Department for their excellent police work on this case. It helped our prosecutors secure a conviction without putting the young victims through the trauma of a trial.”

West Memphis Man Convicted of Manslaughter and Fleeing Sentenced to 25 Years

Marion, AR – Justin East, 28, of West Memphis was convicted yesterday of Manslaughter and Fleeing. The Crittenden County jury recommended a sentence of 25 years. Circuit Judge Randy Philhours followed the jury’s recommendation and imposed the recommended terms, deciding to run them consecutively. On May 24, 2016 at approximately 10:00 a.m., the defendant got into a fight with Dedrick Meadows, 40, of West Memphis.  After a brief scuffle, East pulled a .32 cal. revolver and shot the victim six times. Four of the bullets entered Meadows’s back as he was trying to run away from the altercation. Meadows was unarmed. East fled the scene at a high rate of speed in a pickup truck as West Memphis Detectives Stacy Allen, Martin Gill and Ira Roundtree gave chase. East threw the weapon out of the vehicle as he was being pursued. East pled self-defense. The trial began on November 7th and ended when the jury returned its verdict and sentence recommendation at Thursday evening, November 9th. The jury which was made up of 7 women and 5 men deliberated four hours. The jury also found East guilty of using a firearm to commit a felony and tampering with evidence.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tom Young prosecuted the case for the State of Arkansas.  Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said, “I want to thank Deputy Prosecutor Tom Young for his thorough efforts in obtaining justice for the family of Dedrick Meadows. This was a tough case and he devoted many hours preparing for this trial. I also want to thank the officers of the West Memphis Police Department who arrested the defendant and investigated this case. The jury thoughtfully considered the evidence and spent three long days hearing evidence and rendering a just verdict.”

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