Sometimes it takes bold action to get people's attention. One of the biggest Region 8 stories in the last couple of months is Operation "Blynd Justus", which took place in Blytheville this week.
574 law enforcement officers, including more than 300 tactical officers, executed arrest warrants that resulted in the arrest of 50 people on various federal firearm and drug charges.
According to U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer, the operation started in 2013 and the goal was to remove "the worst from Blytheville". More than 70 individuals have been indicted as a result of the operation.
To the police Blytheville and Osceola Police departments, the Mississippi County Sheriff's Office, Arkansas state troopers and federal agents who put their lives on the line to bring in so many people without incident or injury we say "thank you".
To the prosecutors whose tireless work led to so many indictments, we thank you too. It's no secret that the people of Blytheville have endured many tragic and violent events in recent years and this kind of bold action is much needed.
To the judges who are next in the pipeline of justice I have a direct message. If the evidence is there, hold these people accountable. Please, do not put them back on the street.
It's going to take more than just a quick trip through the court system and a slap on the wrist to continue the good work police and prosecutors have initiated. You owe that to the law-abiding citizens of Blytheville.
Being bold, taking action and holding people accountable makes this A Better Region 8.
- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager
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