NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A major drug bust out of Central Arkansas centered on the most dangerous drug threat facing our state right now.
Three men are still on the run as of THV 11's 10 p.m. newscast Thursday evening. They are among 21 people indicted in a meth ring operating between July of 2011 and November 2012. The ring specifically distributed "meth ice" between Dallas and all over central Arkansas.
"They were doing four to five pounds a month, and the current price of methamphetamine ice in state of Arkansas is anywhere from $18,000 to $24,000 a pound," said William Bryant, an Assistant Special Agent for the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Bryant offered some perspective on a drug bust announced Thursday by multiple local and federal agencies, who said that Tarik Bouhamidi of Austin is the ringleader.
"He would go to Dallas and score the methamphetamine ice, which is the smokeable form of meth, which is our greatest drug threat in Arkansas," Bryant said.
Bryant said that Bouhamidi hired couriers to take the drugs from his Dallas source to Central Arkansas. The faces of some of the alleged couriers dotted posters on display at Thursday's press conference on this announcement.
"They would rent cars, and Tarik and the other members would equip the car with a GPS so they could track the car coming back with a load of narcotics," Bryant said.
But, that surveillance was not strong enough to stay under the radar. U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer says wire taps helped catch these guys. North Little Rock Police Chief Denny Bradley added basic cooperation.
"It's not that way everywhere, the agencies here in Central Arkansas help each other, they are always willing to work together, they don't care who gets the credit, they're ready to take the bad guys off the street," Chief Bradley said.
And, it was not just these alleged bad guys, but fancy cars, tractor trailers and more, allegedly bought with drug money, that helped tip police off.
The three men that authorities are still looking for are Jeremy Putt of Benton, Brian Embry of Atkins and Scottie Sisney of Atkins. Call police if you know anything about their whereabouts.