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04/08/2011

SEARCH WARRANT SERVED AT RESORT IN GAMALIEL, 4 IN CUSTODY. CACHE OF WEAPONS SEIZED

     Four Gamaliel area residents are in custody following their arrest this morning on felony weapons and drug charges after law enforcement officers from several agencies served a search warrant at the Bayou Resort at 2325 Fout Road in Gamaliel, Arkansas.

     A criminal investigation into potential drug activity at the Bayou Resort began when authorities were called the scene of a suspicious structure fire at one of the cabins at Bayou Resort on January 18, 2011.  Preliminary indicators lead authorities to believe that the fire may have been the result of a methamphetamine manufacturing operation.  Evidence had been collected at the fire scene and sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for forensic analysis.  Sheriff’s Investigators also began conducting surveillance on the location, as well as on the owners, Steven and Tonya Burroughs.  This included monitoring purchases or attempted purchases of pseudoephedrine through the “leadsonlabs.com” database system.

     During the ongoing investigation, the Sheriff’s Office received reliable reports that Steven Burroughs was making specific threats against law enforcement officers.  He also stated that the Sheriff was “..expletive..” with him and if he didn’t stop he would be sorry and would take care of it.  This included him threatening to kill officers coming onto his property and making statements indicating he had already shot at police cars before and would do so again.

     Earlier this month, the Sheriff’s Office received the results of the evidentiary analysis back from the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, which indicated the fire had occurred during the “cooking” of methamphetamine.  Based on evidence of the investigation, including this analysis report, Sheriff’s Investigators obtained warrants of arrest for Steven Burroughs and Tonya Burroughs and continued their investigation, with the anticipation of a search warrant being obtained for the Bayou Resort.

     A search warrant was obtained on April 7th, and officers from multiple agencies made collaborative preparations to serve the warrant this morning.  Two Sheriff’s Investigators set up visual surveillance of the Bayou Resort in the early morning hours today.  Steven Burroughs was observed to leave the resort at approximately 7:15 AM driving a 2006 H3 Hummer and head toward Mountain Home.  The Sheriff’s Office helicopter had been launched and began tracking and monitoring Burroughs’ vehicle as it entered Mountain Home.  Burroughs was tracked and followed to several locations in Mountain Home, including finally to the Walgreens Store at the corner of Hwy 62 B and College St in Mountain Home.  Burroughs parked and went inside.  When he later walked out of the building at approximately 7:45 AM, he was apprehended and taken into custody by several officers waiting outside.  At the time of his arrest, Burroughs was found to have a handgun and methamphetamine on his person.   Steven Burroughs was transported to the Sheriff’s Office and held.  Investigators learned that Burroughs had attempted to purchase pseudoephedrine pills at Walgreens, but the sale was denied after the store checked the Leads on Line system and was alerted to previous purchase activity that would have made the pending sale illegal under Arkansas law.

     At approximately 9:15 AM, 19 officers from multiple agencies executed the search warrant at the Bayou Resort at 2325 Fout Rd. in Gamaliel.  At the resort they found Tonya Burroughs and two (2) year old child.  Tonya Burroughs was taken into custody on the outstanding arrest warrant as officers began the search.

     During the conduct of the search, officers found and seized approximately 1 gram of methamphetamine and multiple articles of drug paraphernalia, including syringes and scales.  In addition, eleven (11) long guns were found and seized, including an AR15 rifle with two 100 round drum magazines and one large caliber (.50 caliber) semi-automatic rifle.  Also seized were seven (7) handguns.  Each of these weapons were loaded and chambered.  Hundreds of rounds of ammunition were seized as well. 

     The Burroughs’ had installed visual surveillance equipment on their property, with several cameras.  They also had spotting scopes and night vision equipment.  Numerous burn piles were found throughout the property.

     The small child with Tonya Burroughs was asleep with loaded firearms and methamphetamine in close proximity. 

     After officers arrived at the Bayou Resort this morning, they had contact with two other persons, Kelvin Walde, who attempted to hide in a vehicle, and Tammy Walde, both of whom were living in one of the cabins at the resort.  Both of these persons admitted to purchasing or attempting to purchase pseudoephedrine that had been used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine on the premises.  They were both taken into custody as well.

     Those currently in custody at the Baxter County Detention Center and their charges are:

            STEVEN PRICE BURROUGHS, 48 years old of Gamaliel, charged with:

Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine – Felony                    Possession of Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine – Felony
            Exposing a Child to Chemical Substance or Meth – Felony
            Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms – Felony
            Manufacture of Controlled Substance near Certain Facilities - Felony
                 (a bus stop and U. S. Army Corp of Engineers Park)
            Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Felony

     In addition to the charges as a result of evidence obtained during today’s search warrant, STEVEN BURROUGHS was also served with outstanding warrants of arrest for Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine, a Felony, as well as a Felony Charge of Forgery in an unrelated incident.  He is being held in custody with bond set at $500,000, due in part to the specific threats he had made to toward the Sheriff and other officers.

            TONYA KAY BURROUGHS, 34 years old of Gamaliel, charged with:

                        Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine – Felony
                        Possession of Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine – Felony
                        Exposing a Child to Chemical Substance or Meth – Felony
                        Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms – Felony
                        Manufacture of Controlled Substance near Certain Facilities – Felony
                             (a bus stop and U. S. Army Corp of Engineers Park)
                        Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Felony

     In addition to the charges as a result of evidence obtained during today’s search warrant, TONYA BURROUGHS was also served with an outstanding warrant of arrest for Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine – Felony.  She is being held in custody with bond set at $115,000.

            KELVIN EDWARD WALDE, 22 years old of Gamaliel, charged with:

                        Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine – Felony

     He is being held in custody with bond set at $10,000.  He is also being held on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for Contempt of Court from the Izard County Sheriff’s Office in Melbourne, with a cash only bond.

            TAMMY SUE WALDE, 49 years old of Gamaliel, charged with:

                        Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine – Felony

     She is being held in custody with bond set at $5,000.

     One other person sought by authorities in the investigation was not located and remains at large.  His identity is not being released at this time.

     Agencies involved in the surveillance, arrests, and search were the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas State Police, 14th Judicial District Drug Task Force, Mountain Home Police Department, Arkansas Game and Fish Wildlife Officers, the Arkansas Highway Police, and Arkansas Department of Community Corrections.

 

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

 
 
 
 
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