Hempstead and Nevada Counties have ended their participation in the South Central Drug Task Force in favor of a more localized utilization of resources to crack down on illicit drug activity in the area.
The joint effort, which launched in March, is called the 8th North Task Force. The 8th North Task Force is a partnership between the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office, Hope Police Department, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, Prescott Police Department and Prosecuting Attorney Christi McQueen. Its focus and has already been making itself known across Hempstead and Nevada Counties.
The unit focuses on the distribution, sale and transportation of illegal narcotics in and through the 8th North Judicial District. “Not only will large scale dealers be targeted, but also what I call “street-corner dealers” who are such a bane and disgust to our communities,” said Prosecuting Attorney Christi McQueen. The Task Force will also work together on major crimes committed within the district.
The 8th North Task force will be governed by a board of directors consisting of Prosecuting Attorney Christi McQueen, Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton, Nevada County Sheriff Danny Martin, Prescott Police Chief Joseph Beavers and Hope Police Chief J.R. Wilson. The board will appoint a director to oversee the daily operations of the Task Force. The board will also appoint a board chairman, from the heads of the agencies represented, to serve as chairman for one year to call and to conduct meetings of the Task Force.
The Task Force appointed Captain Frank McJunkins, a 25-year veteran investigator of the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office, to be the first Director of the 8th North Task Force. The board also appointed Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton as Chairman for one year, beginning March 15, 2018.
The Task Force started its operations on March 15 and has already made its presence felt in the two counties.
Thursday, March 15
2:38 p.m. According to Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton, officers of the 8th North Task Force went to the residence of Michael Shane Thompson on Hempstead 12 in Hempstead County in reference to a felony warrant with the Arkansas Board of Parole.
Thompson was reportedly outside and began to quickly walk away when he saw officers pull into his driveway. When officers called Thompson back, he reportedly fled on foot into the woods but was apprehended about 150 yards from the patrol vehicles.
Officers reported they told Thompson to put his hands behind his back multiple times but he refused and turned away. The officers deployed a TASER, hitting Thompson in the back and taking him into custody.
Deputies transported Thompson to the Hempstead County Detention Facility.
Task Force officers contacted probation and parole to see if there was a valid search waiver on file. They were informed the residence, property and vehicles could be searched at any time due to his parole status.
The officers made contact with Beth Burton who reportedly told them she and Thompson lived in the trailer on the property. They then began their search.
Officers reported locating a bag of suspected methamphetamine on the bed, a second bag containing two individual bags of suspected meth, black digital scales, a small black box containing several hypodermic syringes and one syringe containing a liquid suspected to be meth.
Burton was also placed under arrest and transported to the HCDF.
Burton was charged with possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver (methamphetamine), possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Thompson was charged with possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver (methamphetamine), possession of a controlled substance (marijuana), possession of drug paraphernalia and fleeing on foot.
Friday, March 23
2:00 p.m. According to Sheriff Singleton, an 8th North Task Force officer went to N. Graham Street in Hope in reference to a federal felony warrant for Sharon Weston.
Officers reportedly made contact with Sharon Weston’s husband Kenny Weston and advised him that his wife, who wasn’t home at the time, had a felony warrant for narcotics violations.
The officer asked Kenny Weston if there was anything illegal inside the residence, including narcotics or firearms and he reportedly told them he didn’t know. He reportedly stated there were firearms in the residence, but he did not think they were stolen. The officer asked for permission to search the residence and Weston reportedly gave consent.
The officer reportedly walked through the residence with Mr. Weston and located three firearms, including a Glock 22 .40 caliber which returned as stolen out of Texarkana.
The officer then reported seeing two off-white rock like substances which he suspected to be crack cocaine. He reported testing the substance with a NARK wipe which confirmed it was indeed crack cocaine. He then reportedly secured the residence and contacted investigators and other Task Force officers to assist.
The scene was turned over to Investigators Crane and McBride for processing. During a further search of the residence, officers reportedly located two more firearms and a brown bag containing several medication bottles with clear bags containing suspected cocaine.
Kenny Weston was transported to the HCDF where he was charged with simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, possession of drug paraphernalia and theft by receiving.
Sharon Weston was turned over to Federal Authorities and transported to the Miller County Sheriff’s. She will also be charged with simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, possession of drug paraphernalia and theft by receiving.
7:30 p.m. According to Sheriff Singleton, 8th North Task Force officers went to the residence of Alan Bohannon on Hwy 278 West in Hempstead County in reference to information they received about narcotics activity.
Officers made contact with Bohannon, who reportedly met them outside, and informed him they were there because of information they received that he was involved in the sale and distribution of narcotics and had a warrantless search waiver through probation and parole.
Officers conducted a search of Bohannon’s residence and reportedly seized three spoons containing suspected methamphetamine, multiple packages of hypodermic syringes, a partially melted Dr. Pepper bottle containing suspected meth, a clear box containing several hypodermic syringes, several small clear bag containing residue suspected of being meth, more than 100 unused baggies, a glass pipe containing suspected meth, a bag of suspected meth, a straw containing residue suspected to be meth, a broken glass pipe commonly used for smoking meth, several used syringes and $4504 in small bills located with other contraband and on Bohannon. Officers also discovered a safe at the residence. The safe was seized with the intent to get a warrant to open it.
Bohannon was placed under arrest and transported to the HCDF where he was charged with possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Monday, April 2
11:15 a.m. Agents of the 8th North Task Force arrested 19-year-old Jurnee Locket. Locket was transported to the HCDF where he was charged with possession of a controlled substance (marijuana).
6:36 p.m. Deputy Malone was stationary at the weight scales on Highway 67 West when he observed a blue Chevrolet truck traveling westbound on Hwy 67 with a head light out. Deputy Malone conducted a traffic stop on the truck in the 3800 block of Highway 67 West.
Malone made contact with the driver and passenger of the vehicle. Charles Starks was riding in the passenger seat and had an active warrant out of Miller County.
Deputy Malone received consent to search the vehicle asked the driver if there was anything illegal inside. The driver stated there was not. Deputy Dennis asked the passenger to step out. Deputy Dennis patted Starks down and found a small white baggy containing a green leafy substance Deputy Dennis then placed Charles under arrest from Possession of a controlled substance 5-64-419.
Deputy Malone conducted a search of the vehicle. During the search he located a clear mason jar containing a clear alcoholic beverage believed to be moonshine wrapped up in a brown and blue plaid jacket belonging Starks. Charles was also charged with possession of open container containing alcohol in motor vehicle 5-71-218.
Deputy Dennis transported Starks to the Hempstead County Detention Center. Starks was booked for possession of a controlled substance 5-64-419, and open container.
Tuesday, April 3
Officers of the 8th North Task Force arrested Antoine Easter, age 31, and Ashley Nicole Glenn, age 32, of Hope, Arkansas.
Both are charged with possession of controlled substance with intent to deliver cocaine, possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine, possession with intent deliver controlled substance ecstasy and xanax.
Officers Confiscated $ 3,180 in currency, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, xanax and ecstasy pills during the search of a residence in the 300 block of Hayward in Hope, Arkansas. Both were transported to the Hempstead County Detention Center and Held for a first appearance.
Thursday April 5
Shauntonio Frierson age 37 of Hope, Arkansas was arrested by Parole officers for Parole Violation. Frierson was also charged with Two counts of Delivery of Controlled Substance in relation to an on-going Investigation by the 8th North Task Force.
He was transported to the HCDF and held for the Arkansas Department of Community Corrections.
Officers of the 8th North Task force served a search warrant at a residence in the 200 block of East Hickory in Hope, Arkansas.
During the search officers located a white powder believed to be cocaine, a handgun, scales and baggies used to package and distribute narcotics.
Officers arrested 35-year-old Corey Wesley and charged him with possession with purpose to deliver, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug premises and possession of controlled substance. Wesley was taken to the HCDF.