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August 7, 2020New Orleans, LA, United StatesNarcotics

ICE HSI task force arrests 29, seizes weapons, cash and narcotics in a multi-day drug enforcement operation

NEW ORLEANS – A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) task force was instrumental in disrupting a major drug trafficking ring in Northwest Arkansas following a multi-day drug enforcement initiative dubbed Operation Edged Spear Aug. 4-6.

The operation, led by HSI New Orleans’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force, culminated in 29 federal and state arrests, the seizure of multiple firearms, cash, and controlled substances including fentanyl, methamphetamine, marijuana and other opioids.

“The successful outcome of this multi-year investigation clearly demonstrates the importance of HSI partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Working together, we can have a much larger impact on public safety,” said HSI New Orleans acting Special Agent in Charge Gilbert Trill. “The dedication and commitment of our special agents and law enforcement partners sends a clear message that the infiltration of drugs and criminal activities into our communities will not be tolerated.”

Beginning in 2017, special agents and task force officers assigned to the HSI Fayetteville HIDTA task force have been investigating drug and weapons trafficking, and money laundering activities in Northwest Arkansas. The individuals arrested during Operation Edged Spear will be prosecuted in the Western District of Arkansas for violations of Title 21 of U.S. code 841 and 846, possession and conspiracy distribute controlled substances.

“As I stated when running for Sheriff of Carroll County, I will uphold the law and keep the peace. In doing so, one of my primary concerns was the rampant illegal drugs throughout this county. I have taken every opportunity to work with our law enforcement partners within and outside our county borders. I am extremely proud of my deputies and every police officer that has worked tirelessly over the past year to bring this operation to fruition. Together, we are making a difference for the citizens of Carroll County,” said Carroll County Sheriff Jim Ross. “No longer will drug users and dealers see Carroll County as a safe haven. We know who you are, and we are coming for you.”

This was an HSI-led investigation with the assistance of HSI HIDTA task force officers with the Eureka Springs Police Department, the Berryville Police Department, and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.

The Edged Spear enforcement operation was supported by the Eureka Springs Police Department, Rogers Police Department, Bentonville Police Department. U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Green Forest Police Department, Pea Ridge Police Department, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Parole and Probation, Bella Vista Police Department, Siloam Springs Police Department and the 14th Judicial Task Force.