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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Meth arrests in Garland County

Yesterday, December 21, at approximately 6 a.m. Investigators with the 18th Judicial District East Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 169 Boardwalk, in Garland County, AR. The residence is owned by Elaine Hodgin and has been under investigation as a place where methamphetamines is manufactured and sold.

The Garland County Tactical Response Team assisted the Drug Task Force by securing the residence, several out buildings and numerous vehicles located on the property. Joseph Gratz, Robert Vance, Thelma Lazetera, Silas Roach and Rhonda Roach were all taken into custody by the Tactical Team without incident. Elaine Hodgin complained of a medical problem and was transported to a local hospital where she was released a short time later.

The Hot Springs Police Department K9 units were utilized to search the property and residence for controlled substances.

Investigators located numerous items inside the residence related to the manufacture, sale and use of methamphetamines, methamphetamine powder as well as a 25 caliber handgun. Outside the residence Investigators located several “box meth labs”. Some of the components of the lab included Camp Fuel, matches, plastic tubing, Heet, glassware, drain opener, iodine crystals, red phosphorous, alcohol, a pill grinder, hot plates, digital scales, coffee filters, and paraphernalia items used to package and ingest methamphetamines. The Drug Task Force seized a 1999 Ford truck, a 2011 Ford Mustang, a 2012 Chevrolet Camero and two motorcycles. A restraining order was filed against property owner and the residence was secured (boarded) pending a court appearance on 1-7-13.

All of those taken into custody were charged with multiple violations including, Manufacturing Methamphetamines, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Purpose to Deliver, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Unauthorized Use of Another Persons Property to Facilitate Certain Crimes. In addition, Joseph Gratz was charged with Possession of a Firearm by Certain Persons and Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and a Firearm based on a previous Felony conviction. Charges against Elaine Hodgin are pending.

The 18th Judicial District East Drug Task Force is comprised of members from the Garland County Sheriff’s Department, the Hot Springs Police Department and the Arkansas State Police.

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