CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Craighead County deputies have made four drug arrests in just three days and authorities believe the arrests are a trend.
Captain Justin Rolland with the Craighead County Sheriff's Department said they've kept busy around the clock.
"Since Monday afternoon," Rolland said. "Deputies have arrested several individuals with firearms and drugs. The last total was four or five arrests with 14 or 15 grams of meth and different reports, different incidents."
Rolland said each arrest was unrelated.
"Each incident was separate," Rolland said. "Starting Monday afternoon, deputies targeted drug activity. And once they did that, they were able to perform a couple of traffic stops which yielded crystal meth, suspected meth, and marijuana. Along with drug paraphernalia, such as scales, smoking devices and things like that as well as firearms. Couple of other incidents, deputies along with probation and parole officers conducted probation searches at houses here in Craighead County. And that too yielded some firearms and drug paraphernalia as well as some suspected crystal meth."
Four arrests in three days may sound like a lot, but Rolland said this is what they're seeing right now.
"It's not necessarily unusual," Rolland said. "Most of the time these drug arrests happen over a period of several days or weeks. It's not unusual for deputies to make those types of arrests. I think in this particular case, where it was just over a short period of time. This happened over a three-day period and basically, this stems from this type of activity, these arrests most of the time stem from information that deputies receive. Whether it be from prior arrests of individuals or it could be from tips they receive from the public about drug activity. So, it's according to how those types of complaints or those calls are received. Or how often deputies receive information as to that drug activity. And it also has a lot to do with the deputies themselves receiving that information and going out in the field and investigating that type of activity."
Rolland said the drug activity they're seeing in Craighead County isn't changing.
"I would love to say drug activity is decreasing," Rolland said. "Realistically, that's probably not the case. It's been pretty steady with the drug activity. I can't say I've actually seen an increase in it. I think, if anything, it's pretty much been steady. Our hopes are that maybe we will see a decrease in it very soon."
Rolland said their drug and theft cases often go together.
"Our concerns with drug activity," Rolland said. "Are that they go hand in hand with thefts. That's a known fact. And so, unfortunately, when we're dealing with this type of activity it intertwines a lot with some of our burglaries and thefts. So, as far as the general public, what we'd like to advise them is if someone from the public sees suspicious activity, whether it's drug activity or they think a theft or something like that is involved, call us. Just keep in mind that those two types of activities are directly connected."
Rolland said he hopes they will lower both the drug and theft activity by focusing on drugs.
"Our hopes are if we can target drug activity," Rolland said. "Then also that will alleviate burglaries and thefts or vice versa. So, you really have to, again, they both go hand in hand. And so, we really have to enforce....or enforcement efforts really have to be targeted or focused on both of those issues."
Rolland said he's proud of the work that deputies have accomplished in such a short amount of time.
"It makes us proud to have been involved with it at that level," Rolland said. "It also says a lot about our deputy sheriffs that are out there working these different shifts and targeting that type of activity."
Rolland said one case often leads to another one.
"Anytime these drug cases come about," Rolland said. "Our hopes are always that we can solve or figure out who's doing some of our burglaries or thefts. So, it's always with any type of drug investigation as well as a burglary or theft investigation. It' always ongoing. You never really can say a case is closed necessarily because you can always receive information or gather evidence that points to another direction on a completely separate investigation."
Rolland said he believes more arrests are soon to follow.
"We always anticipate additional arrests," Rolland said. "Once an investigation starts or after someone is arrested and that investigation begins, we always anticipate and most of the time are correct, that other cases will come about once those investigations start."
As for the arrests made, Nathan H Hutcheson of Lake City was arrested early Monday morning for simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, possession of meth or cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and fleeing in a vehicle.
Later Monday, Bruce Allen Tate of Otwell was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Around one in the afternoon on Wednesday, Mandy Lea Coatney of Caraway was put under arrest for possession of meth or cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The last arrest occurred late Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.
A Craighead County Sheriff's Deputy arrested Jeremy Glenn Tate and Jamie Nicole Brooks of Jonesboro.
Jeremy Tate and Nicole Brooks were charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of felony drug paraphernalia, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance without a prescription and possession of misdemeanor drug paraphernalia.
Tate faces an additional charge of possession of a counterfeit substance.
If you have information about a crime, contact the Craighead County Sheriff's Department.
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