FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division and Drug Task Force investigators keep digging, and if they uncover evidence other deputies were moving drugs into the detention center, the sheriff’s office said more arrests could be made.

They started looking into tips for illegal activity at the beginning of May. Since then, former deputies Daniel Carrasquillo, Dalton Johnson and Michael Fletcher have been fired. Capt. Philip Pevehouse with the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office said Carrasquillo is behind bars at the Crawford County jail and faces conspiracy of trafficking fentanyl and methamphetamine charges.

The first time Justin Standridge said he saw fentanyl was while booked in at the Sebastian County Detention Center, which he said was right around the time the drug trafficking investigation opened. He has since been released and attends the county’s drug court.

“You can get cigarettes in there,” Standridge said. “You can get weed in there. You can get pills in there. You can get just about anything you want if you know who to talk to.”

While behind bars for around two weeks, Standridge said he heard about multiple people dying.
Capt. Pevehouse said a few of those the detention’s center’s recent deaths were overdoses.

Capt. Pevehouse said the detention center is a reflection of what is happening around Sebastian County.

“Right now, we know fentanyl is a big, big thing on the street,” Capt. Pevehouse said. “Many people are overdosing and dying.”

Capt. Pevehouse said the right protocols are in place to keep deputies from continuing to bring drugs into the detention center, and each deputy is armed with naloxone to reverse overdoses. He said he’s proud the investigation team was able to arrest one of the deputies and wants everyone involved to be held accountable.

“The problem is that sometimes folks make terrible choices in their lives,” Capt. Pevehouse said. “When that happens, it doesn’t matter what protocols you have in place, bad things are still going to happen.”

He said these choices to smuggle narcotics into the facility are likely for financial gain since he said a county deputy isn’t a high-paying role.

Capt. Pevehouse can’t yet release why two of the deputies were only fired or what policies were broken. Regardless, folks like Standridge said they are glad someone could be held accountable for what has happened.

“They’re supposed to be in there to help us, and try to make things go well,” Standridge said. “If there’s a guard going in there and bringing drugs in, nobody’s going to get any help.”