Federal charges pending after West Memphis DETER program nets ‘priority’ offender

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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. -- A "top-priority offender" in West Memphis, Arkansas could soon be facing some serious charges after he was taken into custody on Friday.

Authorities were on DETER patrols when they pulled Demarcus Parker over for driving on a suspended license. As they were towing his car, they discovered a high-powered pistol inside.

With two prior domestic battery convictions, the discovery meant Parker is eligible for federal firearms charges.

Officers with the West Memphis Police Department confirmed to WREG they have contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Attorney's Office to talk about moving forward with those charges.

They said it was too late on a Friday to hear back from federal officials about whether they'd move forward with charges.

During the traffic stop, authorities said Parker was arrested for two misdemeanors including driving without a license and carrying a firearm.

To be clear, police said Parker didn't have a lot of convictions, but had been present at a lot of crime incidents and also had several arrests.

DETER stands for Data Enhanced Targeted Enforcement and Restoration, which allows police to focus on specific areas and learn the habits of repeat violent offenders.

“It's just an informational list to tell them these are the people were encountering the most,” said Capt. Joe Baker of the West Memphis Police Department. "I think it tells us were not far off on how we’ve chosen to pick these people based on their chronic offender pattern within the city.”

The program launched February 3.

Jail records show Parker was released from jail Friday afternoon shortly after his arrest.

WREG went to Parker's home to get his response but no one answered the door.