A routine traffic stop on 1st Street in Imboden on June 23rd by Lawrence County Deputy Blake Liscomb resulted in the driver of fleeing and began a high speed chase toward Black Rock, back around through Smithville and Annieville, ending back outside Imboden after the suspect vehicle had ran over spike strips placed in the road by the Arkansas State Police causing the vehicle to wreck on Hwy 63 just south of town. During the chase, the driver Michael Meilke of Batesville threw drugs and money out of the window, the evidence was recovered by sheriff’s deputies.
Meilke was charged with fleeing, possession of a controlled substance (meth ice), possession of marijuana, felon in possession of a firearm, reckless driving, intent to deliver and drug paraphernalia and simultaneous possession of drugs and a firearm. He was arrested and place on $150,000 Bond.
Information gathered from Meilke’s arrest led to a DEA Operation called “Operation Meilke Way” which netted 22 indictments in what investigators are calling a major meth ice distribution ring in the Batesville area, Meilke was not the so called ring leader but was enough of a player in the organization to prove valuable in obtaining the leader, Jorge Rojas-Olivera who was arrested at the train station by DEA Agents. All but 2 of the the 22 indictments were in-state, mostly in the Batesville area.
DEA Agents are claiming that this Mexico to Batesville trafficking ring was bringing an estimated 20 to 25 pounds of Meth per month to the area.
Investigators are still looking for one suspect, Rhanda Ramey, 30 years old of Little Rock. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Rhanda Ramey you are asked to contact the DEA at 501-217-6500.
For more information on the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office visit their site at www.lawrencecountysheriffsoffice.com .