Illegal Alien Arrested In Drug Operation

(Above) Israel Martinez

Israel Martinez, age 28, of Bonnerdale, Arkansas was arrested on May 5, 2010 in Clinton, Arkansas as a result of an eight month long joint drug operation.  The 20th Judicial Prosecuting Attorney’s Drug Task force, Arkansas State Police Narcotics Division, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department and other state and federal agencies cooperated in this extensive investigation. Additionally, the Air National Guard Counter Drug Unit provided air support and surveillance during the purchase that led to the arrest.

Over the past several months in the cities of Clinton, Conway, Little Rock and Hot Springs undercover agents purchased methamphetamine (ICE) and cocaine from Martinez. Three separate drug purchases were completed in Van Buren County.  During the investigation, agents purchased and seized approximately $2,800.00 worth of cocaine and $52,000.00 worth of methamphetamine. 

On May 5, 2010 Agents purchased approximately a half pound of methamphetamine from Martinez in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Clinton.  Upon the completion of the purchase, agents took Martinez into custody without incident. Martinez was then transported to the Van Buren County Detention Center where he is currently being held.

Agents interviewing Martinez discovered he was in the United States illegally.  During the course of the investigation, agents determined that Mr. Martinez has sold as much as ten pounds of methamphetamine over the last several years, which would have a street value of over $400,000.00. 

Twentieth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Marcus Vaden praised the inter-agency cooperation shown during this operation.  “This case is a prime example of what can be accomplished through cooperation and hard work.  As criminal enterprises become more complex, the law enforcement community must also broaden its reach.  Cooperation among agencies is going to be an essential tool as the fight against crime continues.”

-Prosecuting Attorney Twentieth Judicial District