Four people were arrested in Crawford County in connection with a drug trafficking organization Thursday.
Within the past six months, the 12th/21st Judicial District Drug Task Force (DTF), working with information received from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Crawford County Sheriff's Office and several other partner agencies, began investigating a drug trafficking organization allegedly led by Robert Lee Parmenter that was operating out of the Alma/Dyer area, according to a news release from Paul M. Smith, Sebastian and Crawford County Drug Task Force coordinator.
Information received from the various agencies provided detailed information regarding customers, the amount of methamphetamine being trafficked, the distribution network and where illicit proceeds and methamphetamine were being stored within the residence and at various locations on the property.
On Thursday, members of the task force and Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at Parmenter's residence on Lamb Road outside Alma. A small child was present in the residence. Also present in the residence and arrested along with Parmenter were Lori Ann Thomas, Michael Anthony Cruise and William Gerald Jones. A search of the residence led to the seizure of about eight pounds of crystal methamphetamine in assorted bags of varying weight, drug paraphernalia to include packaging and scales, and about $30,000 in cash. The wholesale value of the methamphetamine is about $96,000, or $12,000 per pound.
Parmenter and Thomas were both arrested on suspicion of trafficking methamphetamine-200 grams or more, maintaining a premises for drug sales, possession of drug paraphernalia and endangering the welfare of a minor. Cruise was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and two midemeanor warrants. Jones was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The task force and its partner agencies, including the DEA, Van Buren Police Department and Fort Smith Police Department, are continuing the investigation and plan on enforcement action in the coming 90 days regarding other targets involved in the drug trafficking organization.