Ex-cop sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - A former Helena-West Helena officer was sentenced to 30 months in prison Thursday as part of Operation: Delta Blues.

A jury found that Marlene Kalb, while in uniform and on duty, gave a protective police escort for a man she believed to be a drug trafficker and his cocaine on September 9 and 26, 2011. The "trafficker" was actually a confidential informant working with the FBI.

She was convicted on December 14 on two counts each of attempted extortion and attempt to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute. She was acquitted on a money-laundering charge. Kalb will also serve three years of supervised release after leaving jail.

Her attorney has said they plan to appeal the convictions.

The FBI's Operation: Delta Blues targeted corrupt officers in the Arkansas section of the Mississippi Delta, including Helena-West Helena. Four other officers charged as part of the operation already pleaded guilty.