Dawn Patrol Rounds Up Drug Offenders

July 8, 2003 - Posted at: 3:56 p.m. CDT

POINSETT COUNTY, Ark. -- No breakfast, no coffee, just handcuffs, and an invitation to a future hearing in front of a local judge

Law enforcement in Poinsett County had a busy morning on Tuesday, serving warrants in a round-up of those wanted in the county on drug charges.

A total of 87 warrants for 42 people was the goal county authorities and the Arkansas State Police in what they hope was an aggressive roundup.

Following a roll call at 5:30 a.m. and a quick review of the drug sweep game plan, state and local police began a county-wide caravan to find who, they believe, are some of the most popular drug dealers and customers in Poinsett County. For some of the wanted, warrants for their arrest are stacked five to ten high.

"We've had 87 warrants issued for the sale of narcotics," said Sgt. Stan Witt of the Arkansas State Police.

Witt says the early morning drug bust works. That is thanks to good timing and a dedicated drug task force team.

"We just continue to fight the battle everyday to rid the community of drugs," Witt added.

According to police, the men and women taken out of their homes Tuesday morning are those who have mostly hidden, or ran, from probation officers and public court hearings.

Before the sun came up Tuesday, law officers are already on the road making arrests. By 7 a.m., almost half of the 87 warrants had been executed.

In Northeast Arkansas, very high amounts of production and sales of crack cocaine and crystal methamphetamine occur. Police hope that the early morning sweep serves as a reminder for dealers in the area.

For many Tuesday, afternoon probable cause hearings set bonds for those taken into custody. Many of those offenders remain behind bars.