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Meth, firearms recovered from North Little Rock drug ring bust, 13 arrested

Thirteen people will appear in federal court on Wednesday after being arrested Tuesday morning as part of “Operation Hartbreak Kid.”

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — According to the Office of the United States Attorney, 13 people will appear in federal court on Wednesday, Nov. 10 after being arrested Tuesday morning as part of “Operation Hartbreak Kid.” 

This operation, named after lead defendant Derrick Hart, 27, of North Little Rock, targeted drug distribution in the North Little Rock area.

In December 2020, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began an investigation into a meth and cocaine distribution ring based in the McAlmont neighborhood of North Little Rock. 

During the investigation, Hart and Tetus Jenkins, 43, of North Little Rock, were identified as the sources of supply to more than eight other individuals. DEA secretly purchased approximately two pounds of meth from various co-conspirators.

They seized more than a pound of meth and several firearms during the execution of search warrants. 

During Tuesday’s arrests, officers recovered an additional AR-15 rifle.

The drug ring was operated from a parking lot at the corner of Zinnia Street and Cotton Road in McAlmont, as well as a local McAlmont club at 410 Mimosa Street. 

Local authorities reported receiving citizen complaints about drug trafficking and gunshots at these locations.

The defendants arrested include Hart, Jenkins, Justin Cross, 29, of North Little Rock; Jonathan Dunigan, 23, of Austin; Andre Graves, 44, of Little Rock; Bianca Lavonda, 33, of North Little Rock; Prince Strong, 37, of Jacksonville; Steven Taylor, 64, of Jacksonville; Daniel White, 34, of North Little Rock; and Dayton Wiggins, Jr., 47, of Jacksonville. 

In addition to those arrested on Tuesday, seven others have been charged and arrested in separate indictments in connection with this operation.

“With this investigation, DEA, working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, has taken down a drug trafficking organization responsible for bringing significant amounts of these illegal dangerous drugs into Arkansas through the U.S. Postal Service," said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jarad Harper. "This organization used the mail system to evade detection in order to facilitate their operation. These arrests are indicative of our commitment to rid our communities of these criminals determined to profit on the backs of addiction. DEA is committed to its partnerships with all of our law enforcement allies in our ongoing efforts to make our communities safer and a better place for our families and children."

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