LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Helena-West Helena is reeling after a federal sting operation in the Arkansas Delta results in the arrest of 70 people, including five police officers.
The U.S. district attorney calls it one of the largest busts in the state's history.
Helena-West Helena Police Chief Uless Wallace told Today's THV that he got the call in the early hours of Tuesday morning that "Operation Delta Blues" would be going into effect.
Wallace says that authorities in charge of the operation then advised him to remove the officers involved.
By the end of the day, five of his officers were in handcuffs.
The officers arrested are Robert Wahls, Robert Rogers, Marlene Kalb, Herman Eaton and Winston Jackson. They are all between ages of 35 and 48.
Chief Wallace says police corruption will not be allowed and he is continuing to investigate internally inside the department.
"When I came in September 1st, I told all my officers in the troop meeting, 'If you are doing something wrong, or you are considering doing something wrong, I will be the first to indict you," says Chief Wallace. "I'll be the first to put the needle in your arm."
The Helena-W. Helena Police Deptartment has about 30 full-time patrolling officers. Chief Wallace says he is confident in the manpower they have and that the state police has offered to assist if necessary.
There are more arrests expected in this case as it is an ongoing investigation. The FBI is asking anyone with information to call their Public Corruption Hotline at 501-221-8200 or email: Little.Rock@ic.fbi.gov.
You can view our entire interview with Chief Wallace by clicking on the video link.