Suspects identified: BV man faces federal charges after Thursday raids
A Berryville man is among nine people who were arrested on federal charges last week after a lengthy investigation of alleged drug trafficking in several counties in north Arkansas.
Four other individuals were arrested on state charges in Carroll County during a widespread operation on Thursday, and two more have since been charged as well.
Vance Lynn Parnin Jr., 48, of Berryville, faces federal charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and knowingly using a communications facility in a drug trafficking crime.
Also arrested on federal charges during Thursday’s operation were Ricky Dwayne Moles, 56, of Harrison; Eric Lynn Friend, 39, of Harrison; Ricky William Akins, 59, of Lead Hill; Britnee Nicole Perkins, 27, of Harrison; Julia Nicole Holley, 31, of Little Rock; Amy Leann Friend-Hagler, 37, of Greenbrier; Bobby Gene Ellis Jr., 44, of Harrison; and Melissa Haley Childs, 30, of Harrison.
As of Monday afternoon, all of the suspects arrested on federal charges were being held in the Washington County Detention Center in Fayetteville. They were scheduled to appear before a judge at 3 p.m. Monday in federal district court in Fayetteville.
The nine suspects arrested on federal charges on Thursday were among 11 individuals named in two separate indictments returned by a federal grand jury on July 25, according to a press release issued last week by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas. The release said three additional defendants had already been arrested and were in custody.
One suspect identified in court documents — Corky Ray Anglin — apparently remains at large. Court records indicate Anglin, 42, is a Harrison resident with a lengthy criminal record including a previous prison sentence for drug charges.
Eureka Springs Police Chief Thomas Achord confirmed on Monday that the four suspects arrested on state charges during Thursday’s operation were Chelby Cheyenne Ashworth, 21; Dawna Michelle Gill, 53; John Edward Schubert, 27; and Charles Tillman Taylor, 29, all of Eureka Springs. In addition, Achord said Anthony Belisle, 34, of Holiday Island, and Samuel Lee Thornton, 29, of Eureka Springs, were also charged in connection with Thursday’s operation.
The intake log for the Carroll County Detention Center in Berryville indicates that Thornton was booked into the jail on Saturday. Belisle had been booked into the jail on another charge on Aug. 10.
Court documents related to the suspects arrested on state charges were not available by Monday afternoon, although Ashworth, Gill and Schubert had all been released on bond, indicating they had already had an initial court appearance. Taylor, Belisle and Thornton remained in custody as of Monday afternoon.
The press release issued Thursday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Fort Smith said the arrests came after an investigation of more than a year into methamphetamine and heroin trafficking in Carroll, Boone, Baxter, Searcy, Newton and Washington counties. Law enforcement also executed two federal search warrants, in Harrison and Lead Hill, as part of Thursday’s operation, according to the press release.
The press release also revealed that the Eureka Springs Police Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI conducted a separate but related investigation into heroin trafficking in Eureka Springs. Three federal search warrants were served in Eureka Springs on Thursday, according to the press release.
The press release said Thursday’s arrests are directly related to the federal arrests of 19 individuals in the Harrison area on Oct. 27, 2016. Eighteen of those individuals have been convicted and are awaiting sentencing in federal district court.