DEA reports 5 arrests in meth-ring roundup

Five people were arrested Tuesday on drug-trafficking charges after federal agents served warrants along the Arkansas-Oklahoma border.


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The yearlong investigation called Operation True Grit netted more than 60 pounds of methamphetamine, said Mike Keene, supervisor of the Fort Smith office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Keene said the methamphetamine came from Mexico, through Texas and California, before reaching Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Keene said four Oklahoma residents were arrested Tuesday in Arkansas. David Lemmon and John Spencer were arrested in Crawford County, while Jill Bradley and Che Tidwell were arrested in Fort Smith.

Keene said a man named Michael Robinson was arrested Tuesday in Texas in connection with the drug-trafficking ring. Another man, Tanner Thompson of Arkansas, was already in custody, said Keene.

According to a Sebastian County Circuit Court filing, Tanner Ray Thompson, 21, was charged March 3 with criminal mischief, manufacturing "meth cocaine," possession of "meth cocaine" with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Keene said he didn't have ages or other information on those arrested in Operation True Grit on Tuesday.

Keene said all of those arrested will be charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, and some will face additional drug charges.

Keene said Lemmon, Spencer, Bradley and Tidwell were arraigned Wednesday in federal court in Fort Smith, but little information regarding those cases was available late Wednesday.

A federal court docket on did show that David Hurl Lemmon pleaded innocent Wednesday and is scheduled for a jury trial on June 6 in federal court in Fort Smith. He is charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Arrest warrants and pre-trial reports in the case were still under seal late Wednesday.

Keene said weapons were confiscated during the drug raids, but no weapons charges are being pursued at this time.

Keene said the agency has five outstanding warrants for people in California connected to the same drug-trafficking operation.

Keene said other federal agencies assisted with the investigation, as well as the Arkansas State Police, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and sheriff's offices in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Metro on 03/31/2016

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