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Pair arrested after exposing multiple officers to Fentanyl BLYTHEVILLE — Several police officers were taken to the hospital after being exposed to Fentanyl following a traffic stop.

According to a news release, on Friday, May 17, Blytheville police officers stopped a white GMC Yukon that pulled out in front of the officer while patrolling the area of East Moultrie Drive.

Officers spoke with 35-yearold Travis Leachman and 27year-old Brittany Deason, both of Blytheville and while talking, noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

Police said they found a clear container with small baggies inside with a crystal- like substance on Leachman that was believed to be meth and a small clear bag with suspected marijuana was located inside his left sock.

Inside the vehicle, officers found a clear bag containing suspected marijuana and four small blue pills believed to be Fentanyl. Officers also found five yellow circle pills, identified as Clonazepam, and another clear baggie with around 50 blue pills, also believed to be Fentanyl.

Both Leachman and Deason were taken into custody at that time and charged with the drugs, police said.

While officers were heading to the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office with the suspects, the officer told dispatch he was not feeling well and was pulling over.

Police said other officers responded to the area where the

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officer was and found him on the ground unconscious, suffering from the effects of the Fentanyl.

The unconscious officer was taken by the responding officers to Great River Medical Center for treatment, the news release said.

While there, police said the officers who had helped began to show signs of Fentanyl exposure and also lost consciousness.

About an hour later, a nurse who had been treating the initial officer also showed signs of an overdose of Fentanyl and had to be treated, bringing the total of those treated for potential Fentanyl exposure to five.

Leachman and Deason were taken to the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office by another officer on shift, police said.

On Monday, May 20, the suspects appeared in court for arraignment, where Judge Shannon Langston issued a bond of $1,000,000 for each of them. ***

Arkansas State Police investigating after woman’s body found in Lee County

MARIANNA — The Arkansas State Police is investigating a homicide in Lee County, Arkansas after a local farmer found a body.

According to reports, on Tuesday, a Lee County farmer reported that he found the body of a woman on a farm field road off Lee County Road 706, north of Marianna.

The woman was later identified as 30year-old Ashley Monroe of Lexa, Arkansas. Reports say her body was transported to the Arkansas State Crime Lab to determine the cause of death.

The ASP Criminal Investigation Division was requested by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the homicide.

The investigation is ongoing.


Operation HOPE leads to 32 victims rescued from human trafficking ring

HOT SPRINGS — Around 32 victims of human trafficking were identified in Hot Springs as a part of Operation HOPE (Help and Opportunity to Prevent Exploitation) that took place this month.

Arkansas State Police (ASP) and members of the Arkansas Human Trafficking Council worked together to recover the victims, and offer seven of them food, lodging, on-site medical services, counseling, therapy, and drug rehabilitation.

“These concerted efforts will significantly contribute to making Arkansas a place where human trafficking is not tolerated,” said ASP Director Colonel Mike Hagar. “The dedicated law enforcement community in Arkansas is fully committed to approaching the grim reality of human trafficking with empathy, aiming to rescue victims from the shadows and provide them with the support and care they need to recover.”

The operation comes as part of a combined effort of law enforcement and victim service providers to combat human trafficking, recover victims, and detain traffickers.

During and before the operation, victims of the trafficking were identified, with three children and an adult being rescued from a dangerous situation before the operation began. The children were taken into protective custody, while the adult was offered victim services, which they accepted.

“Not only do we hunt the wicked, but we also seek out the wounded,” said Major Stacie Rhoads, ASP Criminal Investigation Division Commander.

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This was a multi-team operation with the following agencies involved:

• Hot Springs Police Department • Garland County Sheriff’s Office

• FBI – Little Rock Office

• Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

• Harrison Police Department

• Arkansas Fusion Center Regional Intervention of Sexual Exploitation (RISE)

• The Genesis Project

• Into the Light


• Saline County Safe Haven

• River Valley Medical Wellness • The NWA Forensic Nurse Team This operation follows a similar one from February in Jonesboro that saw 30 women being identified and five being offered services in northeast Arkansas.

This is an ongoing investigation by the state police, so all details cannot be released at the moment.

Human Trafficking Hotline

Human trafficking is a serious issue across the country and one of the most seriously taken tragedies.

If you have information or suspect human trafficking in your area, please get in touch with the Arkansas Human Trafficking Council through email at or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-3737888.

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