ARRESTS ANNOUNCED: In Russellville.
The U.S. attorney's office has announced that new U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland
will get camera time on his first full day in office with a news conference in Russellville announcing a drug bust that involves white supremacists.
The news conference is this afternoon. Said an advance notice:
Mr. Hiland will announce the unsealing of an indictment and arrest of dozens of members of a methamphetamine and firearm conspiracy in Pope and Yell Counties. The conspiracy also involved members of local white supremacist groups. More than 25 pounds of methamphetamine and more than 60 firearms have been seized in the investigation, which involved hundreds of pounds of meth in total.
UPDATE: Hiland announced that 44 people had been charged, including nine identified as white supremacists. Officers seized 69 guns, 25 pounds of meth and $70,000 in purported drug money.
The arrests culminate two years of investigation.
Hiland said nine were associated with the New Aryan Empire (NAE) and White Aryan Resistance (WAR), organizations that have figured in past criminal cases
in the Russellville area.
Officials indicated more arrests were possible.
A law enforcement source comments that many of the names are familiar for past arrests and sentences.
Here's the Justice Department release.
Here are the defendants.