16 arrested in Independence County operation

BATESVILLE, Ark. – A county-wide operation with multiple agencies involved resulted in 16 arrests this week.

The release from Independence County Sheriff’s Department said the multi-agency countywide operation was organized on Thursday, June 8. Members of the sheriff’s office, Batesville Police Department, Arkansas 16th Judicial Drug Task Force and Arkansas Probation and Parole served multiple felony warrants in the county and city.

A total of 16 arrests were made. Five felony parole absconders were apprehended and four felony drug arrests were made in the process of the operation.

Over $2000 of drug money was seized.

At noon Thursday, while working as a member of the Arkansas Community Corrections SRT Fugitive Task Force, Officer Erik Johnson attempted to locate a parole fugitive, Willard Newton Jones, 32, of Charlotte, at 250 Weaver Lane in Charlotte, the incident report with Jonesboro Police Department said. Johnson, an officer with JPD on assignment, had his K9 officer “Gabo” with him.  arrested for warrants and parole violations.

Upon arriving on scene at the residence, a black 4 door GMC Canyon sped away from the rear of the residence, throwing grass and rocks flying. Deputies with the Independence County Sheriff’s Office then pursued the driver, confirmed to be the fugitive, Jones, driving.

Authorities followed the fugitive back north towards State Highway 25, the report said. At Highway 25, the deputies turned east and continued driving east to A & W Lane. They then turned south on School Road. The vehicle finally stopped between 210 and 225 School Rd. in Charlotte Arkansas.

Deputies then began giving orders to Jones who was still sitting in the driver’s seat of the truck with the engine running. The JPD officer then deployed Gabo and yelled orders “police with a K9, get out of the vehicle.” Deputy Bret Ward with the Independence County then forcefully opened the door and tried to get Jones out of the truck but officers said he resisted and refused to exit as he held onto the steering wheel. The vehicle was still running and in gear and Jones refused to get out.

Deputy Ward was finally able to get Jones to release his grip on the steering wheel and when he pulled Jones out and attempted to take him to the ground, Jones kept his feet and it appeared as if he was trying to break free and run.

Jones continued to resist, police reported, so the K9 came into play. Gabo jumped and bit Jones on the left shoulder blade area. Deputy Ward and Gabo then went to the ground and Ward was able to affect the arrest without further incident. Jones was found in possession of approximately 1.5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, police said.

Jones was transported to the White River Medical Center in Batesville for treatment.


Jones. Source: Vinelink

The following people were also charged with possession of a controlled substance – meth:

  • Deana Holt
  • Christopher Holt
  • Donnie Brandon

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