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Collaborative effort leads to peaceful fugitive arrest


MORRILTON — Arkansas State Police Colonel Mike Hagar thanked the public, media partners and numerous law enforcement agencies Friday for assisting in the successful apprehension of the armed fugitive who had been eluding authorities for over 24 hours.
“The enormous law enforcement presence in this community was a powerful deterrent, and residents were on high alert,” Hagar said. “If we had not taken such a collaborative, safety-focused approach, I am not certain we would have had a peaceful end to this episode.”
Stacy Lee Drake, 50, was discovered around 10 a.m. Thursday, June 20, 2024, in a wooded area south of the Morrilton intersection of University Boulevard and Poor Farm Road. Drake had been hiding near a heavily traveled area, across from Morrilton Intermediate School and a cluster of businesses catering to local residents and motorists using Interstate 40.
During the 24 hours leading up to Drake being taken into custody, media outlets blanketed the state with bulletins and the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) issued an advisory alerting the public to the danger Drake brought to the community. Arkansas National Guard Black Hawk helicopter crews gave essential tactical support from the air, and numerous state, local and federal law enforcement agencies followed up on an untold number of leads that emerged as nearly 24,000 people shared an ASP post warning of the danger Drake posed to the community.
“The public’s role in bringing this to a safe conclusion cannot be understated,” Col. Hagar said. “A strong response from our media partners and the vigilance of our residents almost certainly prevented additional violence at the hands of this fugitive.”
On Thursday, ASP, Morrilton Police Department and the Conway County Sheriff’s Office took Drake into custody with the help of other assisting law enforcement agencies. On Friday, Col. Hagar extended his heartfelt appreciation to the following:
Department of Corrections North Central Unit K-9 Team
Arkansas Game and Fish
U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force
Arkansas Army National Guard
University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton Police
Drake was taken into custody without incident after a manhunt that began late Tuesday.
Drake is wanted in connection with homicides and carjackings in Oklahoma and is wanted on other felony warrants from multiple jurisdictions, with charges including aggravated robbery, carjacking, and murder.
He is being held at the Conway County Detention Center. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.