Operation Meilke Way Leads to Indictment of 22 in Little Rock
JAN 17 - (Little Rock, AR) – The DEA Little Rock District Office (LRDO) initiated the final phase of a takedown of a major central Arkansas methamphetamine trafficking organization on January 17, 2012, executing nine federal arrest warrants in an investigation dubbed Operation Meilke Way (five of the nine were found to be already incarcerated). The arrests stemmed from a federal grand jury 36 count superseding indictment in the Eastern District of Arkansas of 22 individuals for their involvement in a central Arkansas-based methamphetamine DTO. The dismantlement of this DTO is expected to affect the local meth market for a considerable period of time.
This OCDETF investigation targeted a large scale DTO, headed by Michael Meilke, which was distributing multi-pound quantities of methamphetamine in central, north, and northeast Arkansas. The methamphetamine was smuggled from Mexico to north and central Arkansas for distribution. In total, law enforcement seized 13.3 pounds of methamphetamine, seven vehicles, $255,106 cash, and six guns.
Intelligence and direct information collected during the course of this long-term investigation indicated that the DTO had received multi-pound meth shipments on a weekly basis from a source of supply in Mexico for more than two years. The meth was smuggled from Mexico to a cell head located in Batesville, Arkansas, named Jorge Rojas-Olivera, whose primary meth distributor was Michael Meilke.
The Rojas-Olivera DTO was successfully dismantled following the arrests on January 17. It was determined that the organization distributed at least 20 pounds of meth per month in central Arkansas. LRDO case agents plan a second wave of federal indictments to charge some lower level meth distributors that were identified during the course of the investigation.
This investigation was undertaken by LRDO Group # 2 which is composed of Special Agents from DEA and Drug Task Force Officers from the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, North Little Rock Police Department, Benton Police Department, Arkansas State Police, and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.