Press Releases


St. Joe man arrested for meth

St. Joe man arrested for meth

  According to Searcy County Sheriff, 51 year old Kelly Manes was arrested on June 24 and charged with drug possession. According to Cassell, the arrest occurred after Searcy County Deputy Joey Baysinger conducted a routine traffic stop on Manes' vehicle at the intersection of Hwy. 65/374.

  During the stop, Manes appeared nervous so Baysinger asked for and was given permission to search Manes' vehicle. Baysinger then brought K-9 Deputy Vader to the vehicle to conduct a free air sniff. During the sniff, Vader displayed a positive alert.

  Baysinger then searched the vehicle and found a piece of foil that contained a white powdery substance. After testing the substance using a Nar Tec field test kit, the substance tested positive for crystal methamphetamine.

  Manes was placed under arrest and was transported to the Searcy County Detention Center where he was charged with felony possession of meth or cocaine LT 2 grams. He is currently being held in the Searcy County Detention Center.

Harrison man arrested for drugs


Harrison man arrested for drugs

  Jonathon L. Franklin, age 48, of Harrison was arrested June 23 at Wade's Exxon in Leslie for possession of drug paraphernalia.

  According to Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell, the arrest occurred when Deputy Troy Dye was assisting Deputy Dustin Rosenburger with a motorist assist. After checking Franklin's name through the crime information system, the officers learned that Jonathon Franklin had a search waiver on file.

  While conducting a search of Franklin's vehicle, officer found a plastic baggie in Franklin's wallet that was located in the driver's door and glass smoking device. Both were tested using a Nar Tec field test kit and tested positive for methamphetamine.

  Franklin was taken to the Searcy County Detention Center where he was charged with felony possession of drug paraphernalia.

Myatt arrested for criminal contempt

Myatt arrested for criminal contempt

  Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell reported that 48 year old Jeffery Russell "Tubby" Myatt of Marshall was arrested on June 22 and charged with criminal contempt.

  Cassell said the arrest occurred after Myatt was placed in custody by Circuit Court Judge H. G. Foster after results of a narcotics test given that day provided positive results.

  Myatt is currently being held in the Searcy County Detention Center awaiting an appearance in Searcy County Circuit Court.

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July Fourth drive sober campaign

July Fourth drive sober campaign

  As Arkansans prepare for the approaching July 4th Independence Day holiday weekend, many families will include plans to travel across the state for cookouts and the customary summer festivities. However, experience and records tell us, some drivers and their passengers won't make it to their destinations or return home. Drunk or impaired driving will be to blame.

  Arkansas law enforcement officers will be participating in the statewide "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" operation. The mission will be devoted to stopping drunk drivers before tragedy strikes. State police, along with city officers and county deputies across Arkansas will increase their patrols along the roads and highways with zero tolerance for those who drive impaired. Motorists should expect to see more sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols involving a unified police force working to keep the roadways safe.

  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving accounted for 29% (10,511) of the total motor vehicle traffic deaths during 2018. Additionally, drunk driving can be attributed to 40% (78) of the 193 traffic fatalities over the July 4th (2018) holiday period.

  "Making the choice to drink and drive can be deadly. It's irresponsible behavior, and we will be out in full force to put a stop to it," said Searcy County Chief Deputy Dewayne Pierce. "Make no mistake, if you're caught drinking and driving, you will be arrested."

  If travelers plan to consume alcohol, the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office offers these reminders.

Plan a safe way home before you leave. It's never okay to drink and drive, even if you've had one alcoholic beverage. Designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get to your destination safely. If you've been drinking, call a taxi or someone who is sober to drive you home. If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 9-1-1. If you know someone who is about to drive or operate a motorcycle or any other vehicle while impaired, take their keys and help make other arrangements to get the person safely to their destination. Always buckle up. Your seat belt is the best defense against a drunk driver.

  For more information on the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. Information about Arkansas' ongoing "Toward Zero Deaths" campaign to eliminate preventable traffic deaths can be found at www.TZDarkansas.org.

E.O.W. Ride honors fallen officers

Pictured at the End of Watch 2019 Ride to Remember mobile memorial is Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell (left) and Stone County Sheriff Lance Bonds. The memorial visited Stone County on June 21.

E.O.W. Ride honors fallen officers

  E.O.W. Ride to Remember is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness to the law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty last year. The money raised goes towards supporting families of fallen law enforcement officers. Last year in the US 146 police officers lost their lives in the line of duty.

  The first End of Watch (E.O.W.) Ride to Remember will be held in June and July of this year. The ride began on June 1, 2020 in Washington and conclude on August 5 in Montana. The primary purpose of the E.O.W. Ride to Remember is to raise awareness of the law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty last year. Each year this event will honor fallen officers and give their friends, family, and co-workers a chance to remember them by riding and joining in their names.

  On Sunday, June 21, the mobile memorial was in Stone County to honor fallen Stone County Deputy Sgt. Michael David Stephen, Sr., who was shot and killed on July 18, 2019 while responding to a domestic incident at a home in Stone County. Sgt. Stephen was speaking to a woman in the front yard when another subject opened fire, striking Sgt. Stephen and the woman. The subject who shot Stephen was found dead by responding deputies.

  Sgt. Stephen was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Stone County Sheriff's Office for 20 years. He also served as chief of the Pineville Fire Department and had previously served with the Arkansas Department of Correction.

  Sponsorships and donations will go to help fund many aspects of this year's E.O.W. Ride to Remember. Some of the wonderful things E.O.W. will be doing during their visit to each department are: having a celebration of life event at each location; providing each agency with safety equipment and/or a check for their department in remembrance of their fallen officer; each agency and family will be given a plaque to commemorate the officers sacrifice; provide families with financial support if needed and/or the opportunity to a fully funded vacation or education scholarships.

  Sponsors and donors are recognized on the "Ride to Remember" event website, transport truck and trailer, all outgoing event communications, and are also featured in the social media sites. Riders will be followed by a customized dually truck towing a 28-foot trailer with graphics depicting the fallen officers, their agency, and the sponsors who are helping support them in this event.

  Current sponsors include Lone Wolf Harley Davidson, Cornelia Marie, Yoke's Fresh Market, Advanced Digital Imaging, The Officer Down Memorial Page and Combat First Aid.

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Searcy County introduces newest deputy

Pictured is Searcy County Deputy Joey Baysinger and his new K-9 partner, Vader.

Searcy County introduces newest deputy

  Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell announced the Searcy County Sheriff's Office has a new deputy, K-9 Officer Vader. Cassell said Vader is a two year old male Belgian Malinois who recently completed his training with his partner, Searcy County Deputy Joey Baysinger.

  Cassell explained before beginning patrol with Baysinger, the pair completed a two week training course at the Von Klein Stein Working Dog (VKSWD) facility in Sherwood, Arkansas.

  According to Searcy County Chief Deputy Dewayne Pierce, VKSWD is a full-service police K-9 Kennel with over 30 years of experience. VKSWD is owned and operated by veterans, who specialize in police K-9s and have serviced departments all over the United States, from starting new K9 units to advancing current K-9 units. VKSWD is the only kennel in the State of Arkansas that provides first-hand experience in working patrol dogs.

  Pierce added, "All of their K-9s are imported from reputable kennels in Europe. K-9s are hand selected by the best in the business and tested for workability and temperament before starting the training process. VKSWD has the ability to customize a K9 to meet our needs. Vader will be an important asset in our fight against drugs in Searcy County. Trust me, the nose knows."

  Baysinger said on June 8, he and Vader completed the VKSWD basic handler course, which is designed for new K9 handlers. He stated the course covers case law, documentation, K9 health, scent detection, tracking and handler protection. This is commonly a two week course with 80 plus hours of instruction.

  Baysinger added since he and Vader are now certified as a team they are now patrolling together. "Vader is a very important part of our department and will help us in our fight against drugs. He has already proven he's up to the job. Last Saturday, Vader had his first positive alert on a vehicle."

  Baysinger said Vader is a very friendly dog, very calm and collected and loves children. "But, if you have narcotics on you, he will find them and whatever you do, don't run from him."

  Baysinger explained when Vader is not on duty, he is like any other normal dog and lives a normal dog's life playing and training. He said like with any partner situation, he and Vader have become very attached. Baysinger volunteered to partner with Vader. He said, "I want to help fight the drug problem in Searcy County and this is one way I can do it."

  Cassell added that he was very excited to have Vader has the newest member of the Searcy County law enforcement team. If you have any questions about Vader or the working dog training class, you are encouraged to call the Searcy County Detention Center at 870-448-2340.

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Hogue arrested for false report


  On June 10, Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell reported 35 year old Marshall resident, Thurman Hogue, was arrested for making a false report.

  Cassell said the arrest occurred following a 911 call that was made on June 2. As a result of the call, all of the local law enforcement officers as well as National Park Service rangers were dispatched to the Grinder's Ferry swimming hole.

  Thurman Hogue, who placed the 911 call, stated there were over 30 people at the swimming hole and they were busting out windows, smashing bottles and chasing people. Searcy County Deputy Kevin Trammell along with other county deputies and members of the Marshall Police Department responded to the scene and when they arrived they spoke to everyone there. Each person present stated there was a man and woman on the bluff who were screaming at the others and throwing rocks at them.

  The couple on the bluff was found at the Shine Eye campground area and identified as Hogue and his female companion. They were transported to the Searcy County Detention Center on other charges.

  After Trammell returned to the Searcy County Sheriff's Office, he listened to the 911 call and learned the caller was Thurman Hogue and the information he provided proved to be false. Trammell stated that no evidence of any kind was found to be true concerning the allegations made by Hogue on the 911 call.

  On June 10, Searcy County Probation Officer Bill Sellers arrested Hogue, who was transported to the Searcy County Detention Center where he was charged with communicating a false alarm causing action by an official or agency, a Class A misdemeanor.

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Baker arrested for attempted theft

  Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell reported on April 29 his office received a call concerning an attempted break-in in the laundry room of the Glen Echo Apartment complex in Leslie.

  Cassell stated that the caller said Shannon Baker, age 40, of Leslie had entered the apartment's laundry area to do laundry and while there attempted to break-in to a coin machine that is attached to the washing machine.

  During the investigation, Searcy County Chief Deputy Dewayne Pierce reviewed video surveillance of the laundry room that showed Baker entering the laundry area carrying a basket of clothes. It also showed Baker attempting to break-in to the coin machine.

  Based on the information gathered during the investigation, a warrant was issued for Baker's arrest. On Friday, June 5, Searcy County Deputy Troy Dye arrested Baker, who was transported to the Searcy County Detention Center and charged with felony criminal attempt. Baker was released after posting bond.

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SCSO installs CAD system

Pictured is Searcy County Jail Administrator Tracy Sutterfield instructing Dispatcher/Detention Officer Blake Kelley on the use of the new CAD system upgrades on dispatch, booking and evidence used at the Searcy County Sheriff's Office. Kelley said, "The new system makes the old handwriting system obsolete, which will make us more accurate and efficient."

SCSO installs CAD system

  Under the direction of Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell, the Searcy County Detention Center recently switched to a new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, replacing the age-old process of handwriting everything. Cassell said his office recently installed the CAD system that will allow his department to operate a greater rate of efficiency.

  Cassell explained that law enforcement agencies use CAD to facilitate incident response and communication in the field. CAD systems, in many cases, are the first point of entry for information coming into the law enforcement system.

  He added that the typical CAD system functions include resource management, call taking, location verification, dispatching, unit status management, and call disposition. Additionally, mapping functionality, interface with mobile data computers (MDC), and interfaces with other external local, state, and federal information systems may be included. Call takers, dispatchers, and their supervisors are primary users of CAD. Units in the field have the ability to interact via mobile data computers.

  Searcy County Chief Deputy Dewayne Pierce said, "This system upgrade is very important and something that we have all wanted for a long time. This will allow our department to perform at a higher level and become even more efficient. It gives us the ability to have our reporting system directly interact with the jail and detention side of the department."

  Searcy County Jail Administrator Tracy Sutterfield said, "This is something that the sheriff, chief deputy and I have wanted to see happen for the last 18 months. Now is the time to make the department more efficient. The new system eliminates the need to generate paperwork and stores all the information in one, central location."

  She added that the CAD systems allow public safety operations and communications to be augmented, assisted, or partially controlled by an automated system. It can include, among other capabilities, computer-controlled emergency vehicle dispatching, vehicle status, incident reporting, and management information. The CAD system also supports other activities that assist in the effective use of public safety resources, including shift change roll call and "Be on the lookout" (BOLO) alerts.

  Pierce explained, "It's made life easier for everyone who works here. It will automatically print out an activity report for a specified time period so deputies no longer have to go through hand written logs which eliminates the need to hand search the information."

  Sutterfield added, "Deputies can type in an address and find out immediately if someone responded to it and if so, when and why. It also connects with the deputy. For example, if someone comes in and files a complaint, the deputy has immediate access to the information and can follow up immediately. It will also provide  a summary of the complaint. "

  She said, "The CAD system keeps up with every call that comes through the system, 911 or land line, every call that goes to a deputy, every traffic stop if it results in arrest. It will log special issues such as a vicious dog or weapons so the deputy is aware of the issue before arriving on scene. This information remains on file so if there is another call to the same address it automatically informs the deputy of the problem. The system also keeps up with the officer's location so the dispatcher always knows where they are located. When fully operational, the system has the ability to send the addresses to the deputy's cell phone along with a map so they can find their location must faster."

  "The Searcy County 911 Coordinator Gary Ragland was extremely instrumental and still is in making CAD system become a reality for us," Pierce said. "He is our "go-to" guy.  Gary stepped in and offered to make this happen and did. We couldn't have done this without him. He made this a reality."

  Pierce said the new booking system will automatically update at the time of arrest, so the public will have the latest arrest information. "After they are booked in, the jail roster updates immediately. The new RPS inmate roster includes the current inmate in jail, 24 hour arrests and 24 hour releases. Each inmate entry lists their name, personal information, arrest date, charges and bonds if applicable."

  To have access to this information, Pierce explained that you must go to the play/app store on your mobile device and download the free RPS-Inmate app.

   "The RPS app allows people to view the updated roster at their convenience. It is updated at the moment of the booking," Pierce added.

  "The new CAD system is more efficient from beginning to end," Sutterfield said. "It interfaces with 911 so it automatically updates. Since becoming familiar with the new system, the staff loves it."

  Cassell stated, "It's time we join the rest of the world. This is something we have needed to do for 20 years. There is a more efficient way to do our job and CAD allows us the way to do that."

  For more information about the CAD system, contact Pierce or Sutterfield at the Searcy County Detention Center by calling 870-448-2340.

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Cattle panels reported stolen

On June 10, 2020, the Searcy County Sheriff's Department was notified of a theft at 809 Glencoe Road in Everton.  According to the complainant, twelve (12) cattle panels had been stolen from a field, on the property.  When the complainant arrived at the property on this date, his gate was off the hinges, and the panels were missing.     

If anyone has information concerning this theft, please contact the Searcy County Sheriff's Department at 870-448-2340.  Your information will be confidential.     

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