Several remain at large in Ark. corruption probe

By NOMAAN MERCHANT | October 12, 2011 | 9:15 PM EDT

U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer speaks with reporters during a news conference Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011 in Helena-West Helena, Ark. Five police officers who allegedly guarded drug shipments were among 70 people indicted in a sweeping federal investigation into corruption and drug trafficking in eastern Arkansas, authorities announced. (AP Photo/Times-Herald, Kendall Owens)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Federal officials are still searching for several people who remain at large following this week's sweeping crackdown on corruption in eastern Arkansas.

Dozens of others were arrested this week and are expected to be arraigned Thursday morning in federal court.

FBI spokesman Steve Frazier says the bureau and other law enforcement agencies are still hunting for the last of the 70 people indicted on racketeering, money laundering and drug charges as part of the four-year investigation known as "Operation Delta Blues." Five law enforcement officers were among those indicted.

U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer says he expects some defendants to take guilty pleas "relatively quickly." He declined to say if any of the defendants had agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.