MARKED TREE, AR (KAIT) – The war on drugs may have tilted in the direction of law enforcement Tuesday in Marked Tree. According to the Marked Tree Police Department, 30 arrest warrants have been or will be served in the next few weeks in Poinsett County. Police said they served warrants on six men Tuesday who have been involved in drug activity. Some warrants have been issued for men already incarcerated and others are for suspects still under investigation.
"We split up into teams. We executed a search warrant at 616 Wiley Street. We executed a probation search at another residence on Pecan Street. All in all, we searched three residences and all the residences we searched we found some type of narcotic," said Detective Jeremy Bond.
Bond said police have been investigating drug activity along Wiley, Pecan and Broadway Streets since January. Undercover agents have monitored the sale of drugs and purchased cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine as evidence.
"Based on the work that we've been doing since the first week in January, we executed a search warrant last Thursday at a residence here that resulted in us seizing $5,316. We also located three-quarters of a pound of marijuana in separate bags and a little over an ounce of what we consider high-grade marijuana," said Bond. "We also found some scales and paraphernalia. That was also done last week and that was based on the drug work that we've done."
Six men were arrested Tuesday.
Don Mitchell, 32, of Marked Tree was arrested Wednesday morning after turning himself in. He was charged with two counts of delivery of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to deliver. His charges were also enhanced because the alleged crime was committed within 1,000 feet of a church and the housing authority.
Tavus Chandler, 36, of Marked Tree was arrested Tuesday on two counts of delivery of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
David Sims, 36, of Lepanto was arrested Tuesday on a charge of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine.
Shenandoah Shanks, 37, of Tyronza was arrested Tuesday on a charge of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine.
Gregory Coleman, Junior, 23, of Marked Tree was arrested Tuesday on a delivery of cocaine charge.
Michael Wilson, 36, of Marked Tree was arrested on a charge of criminal intent to deliver a controlled substance.
Probable cause hearings were held for each man Tuesday morning at Marked Tree City Hall, where family members and friends gathered for a show in support.
"Based on drug buys that we've done or subsequent narcotics work of some point, we've seized $6,166 and one vehicle," said Bond. "The first place we executed a search warrant on we got probably about two grams of cocaine. We ended up seizing a car from that location based on our drug work."
Police seized Mitchell's Crown Victoria at 616 Wiley Street. Bond said the vehicle was in his brother's name, but Mitchell drives it often.
"We've known about him for a while. We've just never been able to really do anything about it until this operation," said Bond.
Police found two bags of cocaine on Wiley Street, one bag of marijuana at 134 Pecan Street and cash, marijuana, digital scales and drug paraphernalia at 310 Broadway.
Bond said Tuesday's "bust out" was a continuation of a warrant served Thursday, March 4.
"The majority of our charges are actually delivery or based on buys that we've made and then two of the searches that we did yesterday while we were executing these arrest warrants resulted in additional charges," said Bond.
Thursday, Kelly Coffman, 29, of Marked Tree was arrested. Police found $5,316 in cash, three-quarters of a pound of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia.
"We had support everywhere from the (police) chief. Just letting us do our thing. He didn't interfere. If we needed something he would do it. We met with Marty over at the prosecutor's office, Marty Lilly over at the prosecutor's office, when we first started this thing up. We told him what we were trying to do and from that point on, it was just whatever we needed. He helped us get equipment that we might have needed," said Bond. "A lot of agencies in this area, the sheriff's department, Lepanto, Tyronza, we're all pretty good about working together because we don't have a task force. We don't have officers that are just assigned to work narcotics all over the county."
Bond said several men Wednesday bonded out of jail.
"You're never going to stop it and anybody in this business that says, 'hey we're going to stop it,' you can't do that. You take somebody off the street and eventually somebody else falls into place. I think based on what we did yesterday, I think we've put a dent in it at least for a little while," said Bond. "You just got to have a lot of inter-agency cooperation. The sheriff's department works well with us. I mean we're constantly back and forth. 'Hey, we've got this and we've got that or we're getting information that this is going on here.'"