LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A months-long federal drug investigation resulted in 15 arrests with more expected and an additional four suspects named in an indictment released on Monday.
U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland revealed details of the investigation at a press conference.
“There is a cost to engaging in this sort of activity.” Hiland says.
The investigation is titled ‘Operation Mad Hatter’ and involved about 100 officers, including the U.S. Postal Inspector Service. DEA Special Agent Justin King says they are seeing more and more drugs getting shipped through the mail as they did with this investigation.
“So, the volume itself has created another avenue for people to try and circumvent authorities to get drugs shipped in,” King says
“We are continuously seeing more and more drugs shipped through the mail. We’re seeing that every day. In those situations, we have to get creative and act as fast as we can.”
Agents seized about 34 pounds of meth, eight pounds of cocaine, half-a-pound of crack cocaine, two pounds of heroin and more than 200 prescription pills, according to Hiland’s office.
Cash and guns were also seized.
“I can tell you that this organization had the propensity for violence,” King says.
“More than one time we had to intervene; something that bad was about to happen.”
Authorities say it spanned from Little Rock to Jefferson county, and Benton police helped out as well.
“Law enforcement doesn’t have the luxury of being able to hang a ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner,” Hiland says regarding the drug trade.
“We have to get up every day and go to work, and we meet them where they are.”
Investigators says a large amount of these drugs contained Fentanyl and were brought in from Mexico.