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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Drug dealers buried wads of cash and methamphetamine smuggled from Mexico in PVC pipes before authorities busted their ring in rural central Arkansas, officials said Tuesday.

Twenty people were indicted on drug-related charges as part of an investigation that involved federal, state and local agencies. Authorities arrested 17 of them and shot a dog Tuesday as they pursued the remaining suspects.

Officials unearthed six pounds of methamphetamine hidden in an unsuspecting neighbor’s flower bed and recovered another pound of drugs and more than $100,000 elsewhere in central Arkansas.

The sweep, nicknamed “Operation Big Winner,” honed in on Daniel Henry Jr., who won $100,000 on a scratch-off lottery ticket. He popped onto authorities’ radar as a person of interest in 2005. He and a network of dealers were recently distributing several pounds of smokeable meth per week, officials said. A pound of that is worth between $18,000 and $20,000 wholesale, or around $45,000 when sold in grams.

Henry and some of the dealers parlayed the money from their drug sales into flashy cars and motorcycles, including a Hummer and a Corvette that authorities seized in the sweep.

A photo from the state’s lottery shows a smiling Henry, his wife and another man holding an oversized check in September when he claimed his prize. All three were indicted, including Michael Myers, who was wearing a DEA hat in the picture, according a Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman in Little Rock. Myers does not work for the DEA and court filings did list an attorney.

Henry said the $5 ticket was a gift from his best friend and that he planned to share his winnings, according to Julie Baldridge, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery.

“He felt like he was untouchable,” said William J. Bryant, assistant special agent in charge with the DEA in Little Rock. Some of Henry’s neighbors applauded as authorities took him into custody and searched his home in the tiny city of Austin, about 30 miles northeast of Little Rock, Bryant said.

Authorities arrested six others on Friday and took another 10 people into custody on Monday. Henry is being held without bond. His attorney declined to comment.

Henry’s alleged suppliers, husband and wife Christian and Gladis Maldonado of Kensett, Ark., also are being detained. Gladis Maldonado’s attorney declined to comment and an attorney for Christian Maldonado didn’t return a message seeking comment.

In their search for the remaining three defendants, authorities ran into a pit bull in North Little Rock on Tuesday. They shot and killed the dog after it tried to attack one of the officers.

Seventeen of the people — including Henry and his wife — named in the indictment are charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

The 18-count indictment, which was unsealed on Tuesday, also charges Benton-based attorney Dustin Dyer with using an electronic device with the intent to commit a felony — conspiracy to distribute drugs. A message left at his law office went unanswered and court filings did not list another lawyer to represent him.

Bryant and eastern Arkansas’ U.S. Attorney, Christopher Thyer, declined to comment on where in Mexico the drugs came from or which cartels they believe were involved.

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