Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and William J.
Bryant, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock District Office of the Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) announced today the sweep of arrests in Central Arkansas stemming from an 18-count indictment involving federal drug offenses.
The federal indictment is the result of an investigation, "Operation Big Winner," which charged 20
defendants with various federal drug related charges. As of today, seventeen defendants are in
The DEA Little Rock District Office High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Group #62, which is composed of Special Agents from DEA and Task Force Officers from the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, North Little Rock Police Department, Benton Police Department, and Jefferson County Sheriff's Office opened the operation sponsored by DEA.
As part of the investigation, officers were deputized for the operation from the following agencies:
Arkansas State Police, Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, Sherwood Police Department, and the
Central Arkansas Drug Task Force.
This investigation targeted a large scale drug trafficking organization distributing multi-pound
quantities of methamphetamine ice in the central Arkansas area. The methamphetamine ice was smuggled from Mexico to Central Arkansas for distribution.
Today's "Operation Big Winner" was conducted by the DEA, United States Marshal's Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Arkansas State Police, Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, Sherwood Police Department, North Little Rock Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Central Arkansas Drug Task Force, Benton Police Department, White County Sheriff's Office, Lonoke County Sheriff's Office, and the Arkansas National Guard.
On Friday, June 10, 2011, three federal search warrants were executed by the above agencies in White County and Lonoke County. A total of seven defendants were arrested and taken into custody. These defendants appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Jerome K. Kearney for plea and arraignment Friday.
Today, additional federal arrest warrants were executed by the above agencies. A total of ten
defendants were arrested. Those taken into custody will appear before United States Magistrate Judge Jerome K. Kearney for their initial appearance this afternoon.
Five defendants remain at large and law enforcement is actively pursuing these defendants.
This case is the result of the investigative work of federal, state and local law enforcement members in the HIDTA program," stated Thyer. "HIDTA provides federal resources to help reduce drug trafficking and its harmful consequences. With such a broad law enforcement reach, we are able to take drugs and those who seek to peddle them off our streets and out of our communities."
ASAC Bryant stated, "Through the combined team effort of local, state, and federal law enforcement, this drug trafficking organization was dismantled. Methamphetamine continues to be the number one drug threat to the citizens in Arkansas. This organization was distributing multi-pounds of methamphetamine ice per week in Central Arkansas. This team effort of law enforcement led to the seizure of seven pounds of methamphetamine ice, which did not reach the citizens in our communities. Law enforcement agencies also seized the following items as a result of this investigation: thirteen weapons, seven vehicles, six motorcycles, two boats and one tractor."
Those named in the indictment are:
Christian Maldonado aka Primo, 26, of Kensett
Gladis Maldonado aka Gladis Gameros, 29, of Kensett
Daniel Henry, Jr. aka Dano, 39, of Austin
Rebecca Henry, 36, of Austin
Michael Myers, 42, of Austin
Patrick Linn, 38, of Little Rock
Jason Holmes, 36, of Cabot
Brent Amaden, 39, of Carlisle
Michael Himstedt, 48, of Little Rock
Michael Leszczyna aka Mike D., 31, of Lonoke
John Henry Youngblood, Jr., 40, of Jacksonville
Oather Lee Fulmer aka Lebo, 44, of Cabot
Rex Ingle, 43, of Carlisle
Paul Criswell, 46, of Little Rock
Paul Simpkins, 36, of Cabot
Matthew Griffey, 30, of North Little Rock
Aleshia Johnston, 23, of Roland
Jennifer Mize, 41, of Austin
Margaret Diann Henry, 62, of Austin
Dustin Dyer, 33, of Benton
Court papers show that the Maldonados and the Henrys each had two million dollars in cash made from drug trafficking that the government seized. Also confiscated from the Henrys, their home in Austin, along with a Hummer, a Corvette, and a Chevy Tahoe.