Federal agents reportedly arrested an Arkansas sheriff after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said he interfered with an active drug investigation.
Hot Spring County Sheriff Scott Finkbeiner, 46, appeared in federal court on Friday and was charged with obstruction of justice.
“He is being charged in a criminal complaint with a single count of obstruction of justice,” THV 11 reports.
“If convicted, he will face a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison,” the outlet added.
— Little Rock Post (@LittleRockPost_) November 3, 2023
THV 11 reports:
Finkbeiner has also been accused of coercing an informant to do meth as well as perform sexual acts on him, according to an affidavit.
That document alleges that Finkbeiner misled federal investigators and warned a drug dealer, which then led to him being charged with obstruction of justice. Finkbeiner is also accused of using meth while in uniform, according to the affidavit.
The sheriff was released after the hearing on a $5,000 bond with certain stipulations such as not leaving that area of the state, not having a gun, and not being able to interact with witnesses.
Finkbeiner has not resigned as sheriff at this time.
A grand jury will later listen to the case’s evidence and determine whether additional criminal charges will be filed against Finkbeiner. A federal district court judge will then determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
NEW: Hot Springs County Sheriff Scott Finkbeiner appeared in court this afternoon after his arrest yesterday.
— Ian Russell (@IanRussellTV) November 3, 2023
KARK 4 News added:
After federal agents arrested Finkbeiner, many people in the community were shocked to hear the news.
“I would’ve never expected to hear that, but you know this is Malvern so anything’s possible,” Walker said.
Friday afternoon, Finkbeiner was charged with a single count of obstruction of justice tied to FBI surveillance of a house in Hot Spring County in August.
According to the affidavit, agents claimed Finkbeiner told authorities he had a confidential informant on a street where the FBI was investigating a possible drug house, and that their investigation was interfering with his own investigation.
The sheriff reportedly told agents that the informant was not listed anywhere since he was not used for controlled drug buys.Advertisement
“I mean I like to think it’s not true,” Walker said. “I have met the guy and he seems like a pretty straightforward, good guy.”
“Obviously having a sheriff under a federal indictment is not a good thing,” Hot Spring County Justice of the Peace for District 8 Andrew Daily said.
THV 11 aired this video report: