Operation "Frostbite" Lands Dozens of Accused Drug Dealers in Jail

By JOSH BERRY | jberry@kark.com

Published 02/13 2014 06:33PM

Updated 02/13 2014 07:11PM

CAMDEN, AR -- With the help of multiple agencies, the Camden Police Department (CPD) executed dozens of arrest warrants associated with a two-year investigation.

With guns drawn, law enforcement agents raided homes targeting drug dealers Thursday, seeking out those believed to be apart of what CPD says is a "growing problem" in Camden.

"It's a problem all over," Chief William O'Keefe said. "It will never go away."

It includes cocaine, meth, prescription drugs and marijuana.

"The guys that used to sell methamphetamine are now selling cocaine and the guys selling cocaine are now selling methamphetamine," explained Detective Jonathan Chambers. "So it's one of them things that you just can't pin point."

Lead investigator Chambers along with dozens of city, county, state and federal agents started the day inside the Camden department with a list of 40 suspects.

What started two years ago with police targeting lower level cocaine distributors grew into what's now known as operation "Frostbite."

By lunch time Thursday, 24 people were caught and placed behind bars. Officers ended the day with 27 arrests.

"We've taken in some drug dealers," O'Keefe said. "We've interrupted the drug supply for a while."

Seventeen days before his retirement, O'Keefe can go out with this day under his belt.

"We just have to keep on top of it and keep battling this war against it," he added.

While the fight is not over they say it has put a hamper on the lower to mid-level distributors in Camden as the arrests account for 70% of the "growing problem."

In a news release Thursday afternoon CPD said "Federal agencies assisting with the investigation are the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration and the United Stats Marshal's Service. State and local agencies assisting with the investigation or providing logistical support include the Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Game and Fish, Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy, 13th Judicial District Drug task Force, El Dorado Police Department, Union County Sheriff's Department, Columbia Count Sheriff's Department, Magnolia Police Department, Ouachita County Sheriff's Department, Calhoun Count Sheriff's Department, Southern Arkansas University Police, Bearden Police Department and the Camden Police Department.

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