CRAWFORD COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The FBI confirmed that it was involved in the December 3 arrest of Johnson County Sheriff Jimmy Stephens, 57.
“I can confirm that FBI agents were involved in the arrest of Johnson County Sheriff Stephens this past weekend,” said an FBI spokesperson. “Since his arrest is part of an ongoing federal investigation, I am unable to provide any additional details at this time.”
Arkansas State Police released an affidavit of probable cause stating that an ASP trooper was contacted by an FBI special agent “in reference to a corruption and narcotics investigation.” That agent wanted state police to stop Stephens after he left a residence they had been watching.
On Saturday night, troopers watched Stephens leave that residence and head south on Highway 71 in his Johnson County patrol car. A trooper observed Stephens speeding and initiated a traffic stop north of Alma.
The trooper explained the reason for his stop, asked Stephens to remove his service weapon and leave it in his car, then asked him to exit the vehicle. When asked why he was in Crawford County, Stephens replied that he was visiting his confidential informants. When asked if he had anything illegal in the car, Stephens admitted to having three oxycodone pills, a small amount of marijuana and marijuana butter.
Stephens was handcuffed and taken into custody and a search of the vehicle turned up three oxycodone pills, two hydrocodone pills, a small amount of marijuana and approximately nine ounces of marijuana butter. En route to taking him to the Crawford County jail, FBI agents first went to the residence where Stephens said he had gotten the pills and marijuana product.
At the jail, Stephens said that he received the drugs from his informants. Two other people at the residence, Grace Jones and Terry Jones, confirmed making and selling the marijuana product to Stephens.
Investigators spoke to Crawford County Prosecutor Rinda Birch and returned to the residence with a search warrant. A search revealed six growing marijuana plants, prescription oxycodone and hydrocodone matching that taken from Stephens and multiple guns.
Grace and Terry Jones were both arrested and taken to the county jail. All evidence seized was entered into the evidence locker at Arkansas State Police Troop H, according to an ASP report.
Stephens was charged with speeding, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and three different charges of possession of a controlled substance.
Stephens was re-elected as Johnson County Sheriff last month with nearly 62% of the vote. He was released from jail on a $25,000 bond on December 4.