U.S. Attorney for Eastern Arkansas Christopher Thyer, 47, of Jonesboro, announced his resignation from the post effective Friday, March 10. He had served as U.S. Attorney since Dec. 31, 2010.

Under Thyer's leadership, the crime-ridden counties where local law enforcement officials needed federal assistance the most received it. Those eastern Arkansas counties included Phillips, Lee, Mississippi, Craighead and Crittenden.

U.S. Attorney for Eastern Arkansas Christopher Thyer, 47, of Jonesboro, announced his resignation from the post effective Friday, March 10. He had served as U.S. Attorney since Dec. 31, 2010.

Under Thyer's leadership, the crime-ridden counties where local law enforcement officials needed federal assistance the most received it. Those eastern Arkansas counties included Phillips, Lee, Mississippi, Craighead and Crittenden.

In October 2011, less than a year after Thyer assumed the duties as U.S. Attorney, a Grand Jury returned indictments against 71 defendants in "Operation Delta Blues", one of the largest drug busts ever in Phillips County. Aimed at tackling a dual epidemic of drugs and violence in the Arkansas Delta, "Operation Delta Blues' effectively dismantled an international cocaine ring operating out of Helena, West Memphis and Marianna.

The indictments included five corrupt police officers.

The case concluded with the conspiracy leader, Sedrick Trice, receiving a 40-year sentence and Demetrius Colbert, who shot an FBI agent, getting life and 10 years in prison. All of the police officers involved in the incident also were convicted.

Operation Plastic Castle, which also took place in Phillips County, resulted in the arrest of 47 defendants.

Thyer called the efforts to combat drug dealers, including "Operation Delta Blues", as one of the "highlights" of his career.

He also handled the prosecutions of former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner, former state judge Michael Maggio, former state Rep. Hudson Hallum and former University of Central Arkansas President Lu Hardin.

To date, 14 people have been indicted in a scheme to steal USDA funds to feed hungry children. Eleven have entered guilty pleas and admitted stealing more than $10 million from feeding programs for at-risk children. Three are scheduled for trial in a case believed to involve more than $20 million in fraud.

"I have seen communities where drugs and violence have stolen even the freedom to go for a walk or play in the park because of the brazenness of violent drug dealers," said Thyer. "For more than six years I have had the privilege of working with local, state and federal law enforcement officers and prosecutors to fight these violent drug dealers."

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions requested Thyer's resignation.

First assistant Patrick Harris will serve as interim U.S. Attorney for eastern Arkansas.