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Hot Spring County Woman Arrested
Prescription Drug Abuse Summit Held

Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit Held in Little Rock

Fri, Nov 4, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today, along with the Arkansas Office of the Drug Director, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy and the Criminal Justice Institute, a division of the University of Arkansas System, hosted the fifth annual Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock.

The Summit serves as a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators, and gives an opportunity to hear from experts regarding prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment.

“It seems that almost daily I hear another tragic story of someone losing a loved one to prescription drug abuse,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This growing epidemic is taking far too many lives, many of them young adults, which is why this Summit is critically important as it brings together law enforcement, health care professionals and educators to collaborate about how this problem is solved. No one person can do it alone. It is going to take all of us, which is why I am thankful that my colleague from Wisconsin, Attorney General Schimel, has joined us today to share how his State is fighting this menace and seeing success.”

“No state, community or family is immune from the devastating effects of our nation’s prescription opioid abuse and heroin epidemic,” said Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel. “The surge in drug abuse over the last decade has caused spikes in all types of crimes, including armed robbery and human trafficking, and is responsible for the deaths of far too many of our friends and neighbors. In Wisconsin, we owe the success of our prescription drug abuse prevention campaign, Dose of Reality, to a multi-disciplinary team of law enforcement, legislative, public health, medical and public policy leaders who have dedicated time and resources to ending this scourge. And it’s clear, from the proactive measures and comprehensive plans that have been developed under Attorney General Rutledge’s leadership, the same types of comradery and shared vision for a drug-free society exists in Arkansas.”

The all-day Summit began with breakout sessions to discuss resources available in Arkansas for prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment and included a presentation from Michael K. Gottlieb on the growing opioid epidemic. Gottlieb is the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program director in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Rutledge hosted today’s luncheon, which included the keynote address from Schimel, who is serving his first term as Wisconsin’s Attorney General. A prosecutor who was first elected Waukesha County District Attorney in 2006, Schimel aims to continue the fight against heroin, human traffickers, domestic violence and internet predators. Last year, the Wisconsin Department of Justice, led by Schimel, launched its DOSE OF REALITY: Prevent Prescription Painkiller Abuse in Wisconsin public awareness, education and prevention effort, along with partners from across the State to communicate the risks and dangers of improper painkiller use, storage and disposal and get Wisconsin residents to take action.

The afternoon session included a presentation from Dr. Amy Hawes, Knox County, Tenn., medical examiner, on how medical examiners and coroners can help fight this crisis and a presentation from Stephanie Siete, director of public relations for Community Bridges Inc., on the risks associated with vaping and identifying the newest forms of marijuana.

In addition to the Attorney General’s office, the Summit is sponsored by the Arkansas Alcohol Drug Coordinating Council, Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health, Arkansas Medical Board, Arkansas National Guard Counterdrug Program, Arkansas Nursing Board, Arkansas Prevention Network, Arkansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI National Academy – Arkansas Chapter, Gulf Coast HIDTA, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Foundation, University of Arkansas at Little Rock MidSOUTH Center for Prevention and Training, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

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NLR Man Sentenced for Cyber Crimes

Rutledge Announces North Little Rock Man Sentenced for Crimes Involving Children

Fri, Nov 4, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that a Pulaski County man has been sentenced to 15 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction on child exploitation charges.

Anthony Farisa, 42, of North Little Rock, pleaded guilty to three counts of distributing, possessing or viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. He was already a registered sex offender with a previous conviction from Wisconsin for possession of child pornography.

“The Cyber Crimes Unit at the Attorney General’s office and local prosecutors work diligently to protect Arkansas children and families,” said Attorney General Rutledge, “I appreciate the partnerships across the State to protect our children and ensure these dangerous criminals are brought to justice. I am committed to getting these predators out of our neighborhoods and off the internet.”

Farisa was arrested in 2015 after a search was executed by Arkansas Community Correction officers with assistance from the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit. An attorney from the Attorney General’s office was appointed by 6th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley as special deputy prosecutor. Judge Chris Piazza sentenced Farisa in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

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‘Chasing the Dragon’ Screening

Rutledge, FBI, DEA Invite Arkansans to ‘Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict’ Screening

Tue, Nov 1, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) invite Arkansans to a screening of the documentary, “Chasing the Dragon,” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3 at the Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock.

“Prescription drug misuse and abuse is an epidemic, sweeping this State and country,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “To help raise awareness, the FBI and DEA released this documentary that features heart-wrenching, powerful, first-person accounts from people who have been affected by this spate of opioid abuse and misuse. I encourage Arkansans to come watch the film and learn about the tragic consequences of abusing prescription drugs.”

“The documentary, “Chasing the Dragon,” is a powerful video that exposes the truth behind the opiate epidemic that is devastating communities and families across our country,” said Special Agent in Charge Diane Upchurch with the FBI in Little Rock. “The FBI and DEA created the video to educate young people as well as their parents about using heroin and prescription drugs, provide a glimpse into the horrifying reality of addiction, and strongly encourage young people not to succumb to the allure of the drug culture. In conjunction with our State and local law enforcement partners and prosecutors, the FBI and DEA will continue to aggressively go after those who are trafficking in these dangerous drugs and targeting our youth.”

“The DEA remains committed to raising public awareness about the dangers of prescription drug and heroin abuse and removing these harmful substances off the streets,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Matthew Barden. “We will continue to hold drug traffickers accountable while at the same time educating the public about opiate addiction and how it destroys lives. This film is an excellent resource and we hope that by spreading the word about this shocking epidemic, lives will be saved.”

Seating at the Ron Robinson Theater is limited. To reserve seats for “Chasing the Dragon,” click here.

Seating will open at 6:30 p.m., and the film will start at 7 p.m.

Officials with the FBI and the DEA will be on hand to discuss the film following the screening.

For a map and directions to the theater, click here.

The film screening is a complement to the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit, which is taking place the same day at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock and will feature a keynote address from Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel. The Summit agenda can be found at ArkansasAG.gov.

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Roundtables In All 75 Counties for 2nd Time

Rutledge Visits All 75 Counties for the Second Time in Two Years

Tue, Nov 1, 2016

BATESVILLE – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has conducted roundtables in all of Arkansas’s 75 counties for the second time in two years. Today, she met with local business owners in her hometown of Batesville in Independence County holding the roundtable to hear their concerns about regulations impacting job growth and economic development.

“Arkansans have told me through face-to-face meetings that they are frustrated with government and the burdensome regulations being forced on them,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Whether it is the unlawful rules from the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Labor’s new overtime directive, Arkansans want their voices to be heard, and as Attorney General, I will use any means necessary to stop these damaging proposals.”

Rutledge credits launching Roundtables based on a lesson she learned during college when she spent her summers in Independence County flagging traffic for the State highway department. Rutledge says, “I noticed there was sometimes a disconnect between people who worked in the office and those on the road. As Attorney General, I do not want there to be that same disconnect between those who work in the capital city and Arkansans who live in communities around our State.”

Like last year, Rutledge has traveled the State holding a series of roundtables to hear directly from Arkansans including hundreds of small business owners and farmers.

Rutledge hosted 160 roundtables across Arkansas since taking office, including at least two in all 75 counties, with more than 1,500 participants.

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Hyundai and Kia Settlement

Rutledge Part of $41.2 Million Settlement with Hyundai and Kia

Thu, Oct 27, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has reached a multistate settlement with automakers Hyundai and Kia to resolve allegations that the companies misrepresented the mileage and fuel economy standards on several of their model year 2011, 2012 and 2013 vehicles.

Arkansas will receive $747,798.64 to resolve allegations of consumer protection law violations, which will be deposited into the Consumer Education and Enforcement Fund.

“Arkansans looking to purchase a vehicle have an expectation that the data presented to them by auto manufacturers is accurate,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Hyundai and Kia provided erroneous and misleading information, trying to take advantage of consumers while fuel prices were high. No company can be allowed to get by with this behavior.”

The settlement between the 33 states and the District of Columbia and the Hyundai Motor Co., Hyundai Motor America, Kia Motors Corp. Inc. and Kia Motors America Inc. concludes a multi-state investigation into the companies' business practices relating to fuel economy estimate adjustments that occurred at a time when gasoline prices in the United States were especially high.

State and federal law set limits on emissions from vehicles sold in the U.S. Before vehicles may be offered for sale in the country, auto manufacturers must conduct testing under mandatory protocols set by regulators and use the resulting data to support applications demonstrating their vehicles' conformity to those standards.

In November 2012, Hyundai and Kia announced they were adjusting and restating the fuel economy ratings for certain model year 2011, 2012 and 2013 vehicles after it was revealed that the companies had overstated the fuel standards of certain vehicles.

The states alleged that Hyundai and Kia incorporated the inflated and inaccurate data into the estimated mileage ratings displayed on the window stickers of hundreds of thousands of cars in Arkansas and across the country. The states also suspected that the companies sought to capitalize on the flawed mileage estimates by placing them in a variety of advertisements and other promotional campaigns.

These actions were certainly misleading to consumers and may have influenced consumers' decisions to purchase particular vehicles that claimed to offer better fuel standards than others.

In addition to Arkansas, the multistate group – led by the states of Connecticut, Iowa and Illinois – includes Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

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