News of a recent drug-related sting operation carried out in Arkansas by an integrated state and federal task force reveals how painstakingly comprehensive and patient such efforts can be.

The story also underscores the great lengths to which criminal investigators will go concerning drug probes and the amount of money, time and other resources they will commit in their targeting of individuals being pursued for felony drug offenses.

At first blush, Operation 3 Amigos might sound like something festive and along the lines of a community-oriented endeavor fostering neighborhood amity.

In fact, that tagline was the formal designation for a massive and highly integrated law enforcement effort in the south-central part of the state, where, in and around Camden, state and federal officials worked over the course of several years on a drug sting.

The joint operation focusing on drug trafficking of methamphetamine and crack cocaine comprised units from various local and county police departments, with the Arkansas State Police also participating. State and federal prosecutors were also involved, as were members of the FBI and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

That coalition, which began assembling in earnest in 2011, brought commanding resources to bear on the surveillance of various individuals. Undercover agents state that they made controlled buys of drugs and engaged in various long-term monitoring activities of persons they suspected of criminal wrongdoing.

A federal prosecutor recently announced that eight Arkansas residents have been charged with various state and federal criminal counts relating to drug possession and trafficking.

No details regarding case scheduling or upcoming developments following the sting were announced at the time of the prosecutor’s statement.

Source:, “Authorities arrest 8 in drug trafficking sting ‘Operation 3 Amigos,’” author uncited, Feb. 3, 2015