The execution of two search warrants by local police resulted in the arrest of three suspects on weapons and drug charges and the confiscation of several guns reports Helena-West Helena Police Chief Virgil Green.

The execution of two search warrants by local police resulted in the arrest of three suspects on weapons and drug charges and the confiscation of several guns reports Helena-West Helena Police Chief Virgil Green.

On Thursday evening April 14 patrol officers served the first of two search warrants at 812 York St. According to Green investigators had been receiving information concerning possible gang activity at that address.

Green emphasized that the local police department is taking proactive measures in an effort to stop the recent increase in violence that has occurred in the city.

“I have directed our investigators and patrol officers to target areas of violent criminal activity,” stated Green. “As a result of those efforts officers were able to secure search warrants on several local residences where people in the area have complained about criminal activity.”

At the York Street address investigators arrested Frank Ross Jr., 21, of Helena-West Helena. Ross, a convicted felon, was arrested after officers discovered a loaded Glock 23 semi-automatic handgun and marijuana in his pickup truck that was parked at the residence. Also arrested was Travie Shears, 21, also of Helena-West Helena. Shears faces charges of carrying a weapon and possession of marijuana.

Green added that during the search investigators found that the living conditions in the house were not safe or healthy for the juvenile and infants residing there with the parent. Green said the Division of Children and Family Services removed the children from the home.

“During this investigation, we discovered some very disturbing information,” said Green. “A 15-year-old who was seven months pregnant with her third child was also removed from the home.”

Law enforcement and the Department of Human Services have launched an investigation of that situation stressed Green.

A second search warrant was issued at 131 Guthrie St. that led to the arrest of Jarvis Pippin of Helena-West Helena. On April 13, police received a 911 call reporting that a man was pointing a gun in the area of Action Tires on Sebastian. The informant told the dispatcher that the gunman was fleeing the scene in a 2015 black Chrysler 200.

Officer Q. Pious saw a vehicle that fit the description and made a traffic stop of the vehicle at the intersection of Anderson and Sebastian streets. During the search of the vehicle, officers found a handgun hidden in the wiring compartment of the center console. The 9mm handgun was loaded.

Police arrested Pippin and booked him on felony weapon charges. That arrest led to a search warrant being issued for Pippin’s residence that he shares with Lena Hollins. A search of the residence turned up an AK47 assault rifle and a Hi-Point semi-automatic handgun.

Pippin, a convicted felon, isn’t allowed to possess a firearm.

“These search warrants enabled us to get some known convicted felons off the streets as well as getting some weapons also off the streets,” stated Green. “We want to send a very clear message to those involved in any criminal activity in Helena-West Helena that we’re actively searching for those who have been named in recent shootings and criminal activity. When we locate them and if they are a convicted felon, the Helena-West Helena Police Department will be referring those cases for federal prosecution where the sentencing is much more severe than state charges.”

Green went on to say that the community must become “partners and stakeholders” with the police in their efforts to reduce violent crimes in the community.

“When that’s accomplished we will see crime reduced,” the chief stressed. “The key here is that we need citizens to report when they witness crimes.”

Green encourages anyone with any information concerning criminal activity in the city to call the H-WHPD Criminal Investigation Division at (870) 572-3441.