Forty-seven people face either federal or state charges after a task force of more than 300 law enforcement officials carried out a Tuesday morning operation in Helena-West Helena, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Chris Thyer said.
Thyer announced at a news conference Tuesday the unsealing of 11 federal indictments charging 39 defendants as part of the ongoing Operation Delta Blues investigation. Another eight people face state charges, Thyer said.
Thyer said 15 people face drug distribution charges, adding that they're the "worst of the worst in terms of drug dealing and violence" in the area.
Thyer also said Tuesday that 24 people have been charged with food stamp fraud. The owner of a Helena-West Helena Stop & Shop, the alleged "ringleader," is accused of exchanging SNAP benefits for cash and also allowing people to use SNAP benefits to purchase non-allowed items like alcohol and tobacco, Thyer said.
Read Wednesday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.