Man Deported In 2003 Arrested In Benton County On Drug Charges

By Melissa Sherman
Local News for Northwest Arkansas ... rzbust.txt

BENTONVILLE -- A man deported to Mexico in 2003 was arrested in Benton County in the midst of packing methamphetamine, officials said Thursday.

The Benton County Sheriff's Office arrested Francisco Regalado-Perea, 31, of 13025 Scenic Drive after a monthlong undercover drug operation, according to the sheriff's office news release.

The sheriff's office seized approximately $10,000 in cash, a pound of methamphetamine valued at $16,000 to $18,000, 1.5 ounces of cocaine, 3 to 4 ounces of marijuana, several firearms and weapons and drug paraphernalia.

The Special Weapons and Tactics team was called to Regalado-Perea's residence at 12:24 a.m. Thursday and they served a no-knock announce search warrant, said Sgt. Jared Crabtree.

The team arrested Regalado-Perea in the front of the residence before he could pick up a weapon, Crabtree said.

Regalado-Perea was "right in the middle" of packing methamphetamine before deputies entered the residence, he said.

Capt. Mike Sydoria of the Criminal Investigation Division said the drug bust was on a large scale for the county.

"At least they got him taken care of," Sydoriak said.

Sheriff Keith Ferguson said Regalado-Perea lived at the same residence previously and served 18 months in the penitentiary before being deported to Mexico in 2003.

"Now he's back up here doing the same thing he did three years ago," Ferguson said. "It's just a part of our job to keep this from happening."

Ferguson said wherever there were drugs in a zip-lock bag in Regalado-Perea's residence there was a loaded pistol lying next to it along with some money.

Inside the residence there were large screen TVs, an expensive stereo system and camera equipment monitoring outside activity, he said.

Officials also found 30 roosters raised for cockfighting.

The sheriff's office seized the spurs from the roosters and contacted a local humane society, Crabtree said.

Investigators received information from a different drug-related investigation that Regalado-Perea was dealing marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine from his manufactured home.

Crabtree declined to comment on the connection between the two cases but said each involved the illegal distribution of drugs.

An undercover deputy "infiltrated" Regalado-Perea's operation a month ago and since had several conversations with him or made several drug purchases.

The sheriff's office quickly discovered the operation was becoming dangerous for the deputy because Regalado-Perea always liked to handle several different weapons at his residence, Crabtree said.

Crabtree added Regalado-Perea was often paranoid or suspicious of people in general.

Officials at the sheriff's office said they were "happy with the results" of the investigation.

The operation will hopefully affect street dealers or the "supply chain" that may operate under Regalado-Perea, Crabtree said.

"He's made a profit for himself here," Crabtree said. "We're going to go after him with the full extent of the law."

Regalado-Perea was arrested in connection with felony delivery of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms by certain person, possession of cocaine with the intent to deliver, possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and manufacturing of a controlled substance.

Regalado-Perea was being held Thursday in the Benton County Jail on hold for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.