West Side burglary leads investigators to large drug bust and four arrests
Benton police have arrested four people in connection to Wednesday's West Side burglary and recovered more than $1.3 million in pharmaceutical medication on nine different properties throughout Benton, Malvern, Hot Springs and Bismarck.
Lt. Kevin Russell said the arrests were made in conjunction with with seven law enforcement agencies and the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy.
Russell said that 24-year-old Dollie Devaux and 33-year-old William Thompson were arrested on Thursday, and 38-year-old James Owens and 22-year-old Joseph Thrulow were arrested on Friday. Thompson, Owens, and Thrulow are each facing charges of two counts of commercial burglary, theft of property, possession of a schedule II controlled substance with intent to deliver, use of another person's property to commit a crime and two counts of criminal mischief. Devaux is facing a charge of possession of controlled substance without a prescription.
Each are being held in the Saline County jail pending a bond hearing in Benton District Court on Monday.
Russell also noted that tips by citizens helped capture the suspects.
It was was 4:30 a.m. Wednesday when Benton officers were dispatched to Westside Pharmacy, located at 620 W. South St. in Benton, for a burglary report. Russell told The Saline Courier that the suspects first forced their way into the Alliance Homecare Equipment building and then into the connecting West Side Pharmacy building.
"It was a great effort by citizen's phone calls and tips that helped lead officers to finding these suspects," Russell said. "These arrests were also made by all the law enforcement agencies that worked together."
He said the numerous agencies included Benton Patrol Division, Benton Special Investigative Unit & Criminal Investigative Division, the Arkansas State Police, Hot Springs Police Department, Group 6 Drug Task Force, DEA Tactical Diversion Unit, Garland County Sheriff's Office and the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy. He said their work lead to, "an undisclosed amount of pharmaceutical medication being recovered that has an estimated street value of approximately 1.3 million dollars."
"This is still an on-going investigation and investigators are following up on additional leads which could result in more arrests and/or more charges for those already arrested."
Anyone with information about this crime, or other crimes, is encouraged to call the Benton Police Department at 778-1171 or 315-TIPS (8477). Individuals also may send an anonymous tip to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text or go to www.crimereports.com to submit a tip to officers.