Helena Ex-Officer's Drug Conviction Upheld

May 8, 2014

A former Helena-West Helena police lieutenant has lost an appeal of her convictions related to a federal drug trafficking and corruption investigation.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday turned away Marlene Kalb's arguments that there was insufficient evidence to convict her. Kalb was among dozens of people indicted as part of "Operation Delta Blues" in 2011.

Prosecutors accused police of protecting drug shipments moving through east Arkansas. Four other former law officers entered guilty pleas to various charges.

Investigators said Kalb twice accepted $500 payments from drug runners. She was convicted in 2012 of two counts of attempted extortion under color of official right and two counts of attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Kalb is serving a sentence of 2 1/2 years in prison.