HELENA-WEST HELENA, Arkansas — Federal prosecutors are accusing 39 people of drug, firearm and fraud offenses in Phillips County. State charges were lodged against eight people after a roundup at Helena-West Helena.
Investigations named Operation Delta Blues and Operation Plastic Castle targeted drug trafficking, violent crime and public corruption.
U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer said 300 law officers took part in a series of arrests Tuesday to combat violent drug traffickers in the Arkansas Delta. He said agents purchased "significant amounts" of crack cocaine during the operation.
Federal agents also uncovered the illegal sale of food stamps at a convenience store. The U.S. attorney's office said a store owner let recipients trade their benefits for beer and cigarettes, or for cash at 60 cents on the dollar.
Some defendants are due in court Thursday.