Trumann police net 15 arrest, 12 on drug charges

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) – The Trumann Police Department Wednesday arrested 15 people on various charges in a major drug bust operation.

According to Detective Erik Willbanks, 12 people were arrested on felony drug charges stemming from a six month investigation in which undercover officers purchased drugs from suspects. Willbanks said the arrest warrants were served Wednesday on several people, all on distribution of either methamphetamine or prescription drugs.

Willbanks said over the last six months, police made 11 different buys of methamphetamine, three of prescription drugs and four for marijuana. In one instance, the suspect sold morphine to police.

"We've seen a reduction in labs, even one pot method, the usage of meth is still there because even if you don't have the labs, you have it imported," said Police Chief Tony Rusher. "Lot of meth, there's a few that are prescription medication but methamphetamine is still a big problem."

Rusher said Wednesday's operation was the first since the death of Officer Jonathan Schmidt, who was gunned down in the line of duty last month.

"It's been a bad time for the whole community, the department and community, but we want the citizens of this town to know that we're still here, still doing our job and protecting them and providing a service to them," said Rusher.

Willbanks said Schmidt was good at drug interdiction. He said Schmidt made more drug arrests than typical officers.

"Officer Schmidt was always, every time we did one of these bust outs, he was a key role in helping us get them served and he was going to be doing that day," said Willbanks. "Methamphetamine affects so many lives and so many families that anytime we've got a chance to shut down a methamphetamine distributor, we're going to do it."

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.