- Associated Press - Thursday, September 20, 2018

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Authorities in Arkansas say 31 people have been charged with federal drug, firearms and money laundering offenses in a multi-state drug bust.

Little Rock federal prosecutor Cody Hiland and Drug Enforcement Administration agent Justin King said Thursday that 23 people were arrested and eight more were fugitives in the drug operation which spanned from Arkansas to California.

The charges allege the defendants shipped methamphetamine, marijuana and oxycodone from California, primarily by mail. Agents also seized the psychoactive drug ecstasy, firearms and more than $25,000 in cash.

Officials say suspect Eric Baldwin of Little Rock allegedly led the operation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Givens says Baldwin was arrested in 2012 in another prescription drug bust but was released in early 2016. Baldwin is in federal custody for violating his supervised release.

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