BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Several Blytheville residents facing federal and state charges for firearm possession and drug trafficking were arraigned in federal court Thursday.
A two-year investigation by the ATF and several law enforcement agencies in Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri resulted in the indictments of 19 Blytheville residents.
The defendants face multiple charges stemming from a large-scale methamphetamine and narcotics trafficking operation, the largest conspiracy indictment to date, according to Eastern District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer.
Nineteen Blytheville residents are facing federal prosecution for conspiring to possess meth and crack/cocaine with the intent to distribute. According to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, the conspiracy indictment is the largest case to date from the operation in Blytheville.
Blytheville Chief of Police Ross Thompson hopes this latest effort to get guns and drugs off the streets in Blytheville is an answer to the frustrations residents have about a nationwide problem.
"We're doing things a lot of times and people can't see it and unfortunately when somebody can't see us doing something, then it's easy to assume nothing is being done."
Chief Thompson encourages people to keep assisting law enforcement in making their communities safer.
"We do forward that information to our investigative officers. Sometimes we're able to act on it quicker than others, and sometimes it ends up accumulating into an operation like this."
Some of the suspects in the investigation are still at large.
If you have any information on their whereabouts, contact your local police department.
The following individuals were charged or arrested Wednesday, March 13, during Operation H.I.T.S.