MARIANNA—A coordinated arrest operation took place this morning in Marianna and Forrest City as part of an ongoing federal drug investigation. Dubbed “Operation Candyland,” this investigation by the FBI, Arkansas State Police, the First Judicial Drug Task Force, and the St. Francis County Sheriff’s Office, focused on individual independent distributors of methamphetamine and cocaine in Lee and St. Francis Counties.
Law enforcement began early this morning by searching for six suspects, all of whom were indicted for federal drug-trafficking crimes. Two others, who were already in custody when this morning’s roundup began, were also indicted. Five of the suspects were taken into custody: Eddie Bonner, 27, of Marianna, is charged with four counts of distribution of methamphetamine; Lance Hendrix, 39, of Marianna, is charged with four counts of distribution of methamphetamine; Leonard People, 26, of Marianna, is charged with one count of distribution of cocaine; Cedric Woods, 46, of Marianna, is charged with two counts of distribution of cocaine; and Jeremy Buchanan, 32, of Forrest City, is charged with one count of distribution of cocaine. Alfred Bonner, 28, of Marianna, and Clenton Wofford, 42, of Pine Bluff, are in custody stemming from unrelated criminal charges. Alfred Bonner is charged federally, along with Eddie Bonner, with drug conspiracy and distribution of methamphetamine. Wofford is charged federally with one count of distribution of methamphetamine. Most of the defendants who were arrested this morning will appear tomorrow afternoon for arraignment before United States Magistrate Judge Patricia S. Harris.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Julie Peters.
An indictment only contains allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.