The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Ryan Taranelli reports today on the arrest of Chris Alexander, 41, on drug and gun charges
Alexander’s arrest was the work of a joint federal-state-local task force target gangs and violent crime. Alexander is described as a former gang member. City officials say they have no indication that Alexander’s alleged criminal activities were enmeshed in his community group work.
Pending questions: Was Alexander and/or his organization on the list of recipients of city money paid to nonprofits that provide “prevention, intervention and treatment” services for at-risk youth, such as mentoring of gang members? It brings to mind, too, what progress has been made — and who’s been hired and paid — in Mayor Mark Stodola’s recently announced “CeaseFire” program to hire people with “street credibility” to “engage disconnected youth and young adults.” We’ll follow up today.
UPDATE: The city says four people have gone to work as street “intervenors.” They are
Wayne Burt ($15/hr), William Graves ($12/hr), Kenneth Parker ($12/hr) and Larry McClendon ($12/hr). And also, the community group is not on the list of agencies that have received money for youth intervention programs.
Alexander was arrested for possession of large amounts of marijuana and multiple firearms, despite a past record — 11 felonies in all. The jail docket indicates charges include a charge of failure to appear in district court and criminal possession of body armor. The investigation began with the discovery in July of marijuana in Alexander’s apartment. Officers were investigating the fatal shooting of his cousin. Further seizures were made in a traffic stop of him Tuesday and in a search of his business in Jacksonville.
The D-G article noted that the community group for which Alexander worked took its
Chris Alexander Facebook page photo on Sept. 9 has been getting some circulation around town today.
Mayor Mark Stodola wrote me later to say that he’d gotten in touch with Alexander after a family shooting. Police