FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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.