Friday, June 17, 2011

TOP STORY > >Beebe cops seize heroin after tip-off

Leader staff writer

After the 1980s, crack cocaine and then crystal methamphetamine replaced heroin as the hard drug of choice in Arkansas. But recently, the Drug Enforcement Agency has come across heroin in its investigations, and just this week Beebe police made its first heroin arrest in recent history.

Beebe Police Capt. Eddie Cullum reports that Jonathan W. Ryan, 21, of Jacksonville, and Jennifer A. Fields, 18, of Vilonia, were arrested for heroin possession Tuesday in the parking lot of a convenience store on Hwy. 64 after someone reported that Ryan was injecting something into his arm.

A fresh needle mark on Fields’ arm was evidence that she also had injected something. Both admittedthey were using heroin, Cullum said, and drug paraphernalia was in the car.

Agent Juan Storie, a DEA agent, said Friday that he has worked narcotics for eight years and had not seen heroin in Arkansas until recently. Why it fell out of favor in Arkansas is unclear, he said.

“It’s very expensive,” he said. So it might be the cost, or it might be that other drugs are more readily available.

Heroin use is still common in Dallas and Houston and in northern states, he said.

“Marijuana will never go away,” he said, adding that a change in state law at the end of July will make possession of up to four ounces of marijuana a misdemeanor.

Ryan and Fields were taken to the White County Detention Center in Searcy.

Ryan’s bond was set at $15,000. He is charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Fields is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $7,500.

Lt. Brian Duke and Investigator Jeremy Weeks made the arrests.