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SHERIFF’S OFFICE UNVEILS SECOND DRUG TAKE-BACK BOX LOCATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT

Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.

Operation Commander/Public Information Officer

870.541.5351-OFFICE/870.329.5652-CELL

Email: lafayette.woods@jeffcoso.org

SHERIFF’S OFFICE UNVEILS SECOND DRUG TAKE-BACK BOX LOCATION: Jefferson County, Arkansas - June 14, 2018- With an opioid epidemic sweeping across the nation, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is working to combat the problem here at home.

This morning, the sheriff’s office held a press conference at Doctor’s Orders Pharmacy located at 2302 W. 28th Avenue in Pine Bluff, AR, where they unveiled the second of four drug take-boxes that they received courtesy of funds provided by former Simmons First National Corporation, Chairman and CEO J. Thomas May. The Simmons First National Corporation provided funding for 4 drug take back boxes totaling at $9,210.00.

Today’s unveiling marks the second permanent Drug Take-Back location offered to any citizen by the sheriff’s office through a partnership with Simmons First, Lelan Stice of Doctor’s Orders, and Region 12 Substance Abuse Prevention Provider, which covers a five county area including Jefferson County, Arkansas.

The sheriff’s office first drug take back box location made available to the general public was in 2014 at its new office, which is near completion.

“Although the building itself is still under construction, the Drug Take-Back box is positioned in the lobby and available to the general public to discard of unused, expired, and unwanted prescription medications,” said Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Operations Commander, Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.

This past April, the sheriff’s office along with law enforcement agencies across the country teamed up with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the 15th Annual National Prescription Drug-Take Back Initiative. The sheriff’s office and Tri-County Drug Task Force collected a record 234 pounds of prescription drugs, the agencies largest collection since the very first National Drug Take-Back event in the fall of 2010.  

During last year’s Annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back conducted on October 28, 2017, a total of 4,274 law enforcement partners from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA), state, local, and tribal agencies working at 5,321 collection sites, collected a record-setting 912,305 pounds (456 ton) of prescription medications that were ultimately removed from circulation.

When those results are combined with what was collected during previous Drug Take Back events nationwide since the fall of 2010 to present, members of law enforcement collected an astounding 9,015.668 pounds (4,508 tons) of drugs from members of the public at locations throughout the U.S. This is due largely to the efforts of our agency and others alike nationwide that assist with overseeing collection sites that collect more and more prescription pills each year. The initiative demonstrates the American public’s continued appreciation and need for the opportunity to discard unwanted, unused, and expired prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, bedside tables, and kitchen drawers.

“The Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. A great number of people in our community have been directed or indirectly affected by prescription drug abuse and misuse, and this event allows local residents to be part of the solution,” Woods said. “Disposing of unused or unwanted medications in a safe and secure environment is a critical step in fighting this devastating public safety health problem.”

Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to http://www.artakeback.org. This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations.

HERIFF: $49K OF DRUGS SEIZED IN PINE BLUFF, 1 ARRESTED

Pictured Above: Rudy Withers, 40

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT

Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.

Operation Commander/Public Information Officer

870.541.5351-OFFICE/870.329.5652-CELL

Email: lafayette.woods@jeffcoso.org

SHERIFF: $49K OF DRUGS SEIZED IN PINE BLUFF, 1 ARRESTED: Jefferson County, Arkansas - May 10, 2018-Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office-Tri-County Drug Task Force Investigators seized 49 pounds of marijuana and arrested one person.

 

Acting on information received as part of Jefferson County’s Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) designation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Major Lafayette Woods, Jr. contacted investigators assigned to the Tri-County Drug Task Force, who are responsible for investigating narcotics trafficking in Jefferson, Arkansas, and Lincoln Counties.

 

Tri-County Drug Task Force Investigators were mobilized and on May 8th set up surveillance at 405 W. 19th Avenue in Pine Bluff, AR. Several suspicious packages were delivered to the residence, which appeared to be abandoned. A short time later, 40-year-old, Rudy Withers was observed by investigators exiting a neighboring residence and arriving at 405 W. 19th Avenue. Withers was further observed handling the boxes. 

 

Withers was immediately detained by investigators. Meanwhile, the packages were secured by investigators, who applied for a search warrant to examine the contents of the packages based on probable cause. A search warrant for the packages was executed and revealed approximately 49-pounds of suspected marijuana. A subsequent search warrant was executed on Withers residence, where investigators seized an additional quantity of suspected marijuana, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia. The estimated street value of the drug seized was $49,000.00.

 

Withers was arrested and charged with offenses related to the possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) with purpose to deliver, possession of controlled substance (methamphetamine), and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Additionally, due to the close proximity of Bethany Chapel Missionary Church at 1923 S. Olive Street in Pine Bluff, AR, Withers also facing an enhanced penalty pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated 5-64-411. Proximity to certain facilities, whereby a person is subject to an enhanced sentence of an additional term of imprisonment of ten (10) years if the offense is committed on or within one thousand feet (1,000’) of the real property of a church.

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AGENCIES JOIN TOGETHER FOR NATIONAL DRUG TAKE-BACK

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT

Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.

Operation Commander/Public Information Officer

870.541.5351-OFFICE/870.329.5652-CELL

Email: lafayette.woods@jeffcoso.org

AGENCIES JOIN TOGETHER FOR NATIONAL DRUG TAKE-BACK: Jefferson County, Arkansas – April 20, 2018-The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Tri-County Drug Task Force, and Regional 12 Prevention invite area residents to safely dispose of unwanted and expired medicines.

On Saturday, April 28th 2018 from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. as part of this year’s 15th National Take-Back Initiative, we are giving the public yet another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.  We ask that you bring your medications for disposal to the following collection site: 

Super1Foods located at 2800 S. Hazel Street in Pine Bluff, AR., where the Sheriff’s Office Mobile Incident Command Center will be on sight. 

No liquids, needles or sharps will be accepted; only pills or patches.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

During last year’s 14th Annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back conducted on October 28, 2017, a total of 4,274 law enforcement partners from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA), state, local, and tribal agencies working at 5,321 collection sites, collected a record-setting 912,305 pounds (456 ton) of prescription medications that were ultimately removed from circulation.

When those results are combined with what was collected during previous Drug Take Back events nationwide since the fall of 2010 to present, members of law enforcement collected an astounding 9,015.668 pounds (4,508 tons) of drugs from members of the public at locations throughout the U.S. This is due largely to the efforts of our agency and others alike nationwide that assist with overseeing collection sites that collect more and more prescription pills each year. The initiative demonstrates the American public’s continued appreciation and need for the opportunity to discard unwanted, unused and expired prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, bedside tables, and kitchen drawers.

“The Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. A great number of people in our community have been directed or indirectly affected by prescription drug abuse and misuse, and this event allows local residents to be part of the solution. Disposing of unused or unwanted medications in a safe and secure environment is a critical step in fighting this devastating public safety health problem.”

Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to www.dea.gov. This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations.

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FIGHT ENDS IN SHOOTING OUTSIDE H&R FOOD MART 1 CONVENIENCE STORE

 

Pictured Above: Damon Gaddy, 36, suspect wanted in connection with Sunday night shooting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT

Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.

Operation Commander/Public Information Officer

870.541.5351-OFFICE/870.329.5652-CELL

Email: lafayette.woods@jeffcoso.org

FIGHT ENDS IN SHOOTING OUTSIDE H&R FOOD MART 1 CONVENIENCE STORE: Jefferson County, Arkansas - April 16, 2018-Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigators are investigating a fight that ended in gunfire outside a convenience store in the City of Altheimer, Arkansas.

The incident is believed to have occurred on Sunday, April 15, 2018 between 8:30 p.m. – 8:40 p.m. in the parking lot of the H&R Food Mart 1 at the corner of Edline Street and E. 3rd Street. Investigators were dispatched at 8:50 p.m. and arrived shortly after.

 

Witnesses stated that a large fight unfolded with at least one Altheimer man identified as 36-year-old Damon Gaddy brandishing a firearm. According to witnesses, Gaddy first began indiscriminately firing his weapon in the air at least twice.  Gaddy then began shooting again, striking the victim 44-year-old Leonard Robinson, of Altheimer, at least three times.

 

Witnesses recalled Robinson returning to his vehicle and driving from the scene. However, EASI Paramedics were dispatched and intercepted Robinson along Highway 79 just outside of Altheimer. Robinson was attempting to drive himself to the Jefferson Regional Medical Center to seek medical treatment.

 

Gaddy who is still at-large and wanted in connection with the shooting managed to flee the scene prior to investigators and deputies arriving.

 

Robinson’s wounds were non-life threatening and he is reported to be in stable condition.  

 

Anyone who has additional information about this investigation is asked to contact JCSO's Criminal Investigation Division at (870) 541-5496 Mon - Fri 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. or 24/7 at (870) 541-5300. Information can also be provided via email at tips@jeffcoso.org, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jcso1830, and Twitter @JeffCtySO. Caller's anonymity is guaranteed.     

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JCSO SERGEANT RETIRES AFTER OVER 28-YEARS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT

Kim Edwards (Far Left), Sergeant Vince Edwards (middle), Sheriff Gerald Robinson (Far Right) presenting Edwards with his service pistol, a .40 caliber Glock with JCSO's insignia engraved on it along with Edwards' years of service. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT

Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.

Operation Commander/Public Information Officer

870.541.5351-OFFICE/870.329.5652-CELL

Email: lafayette.woods@jeffcoso.org

JCSO SERGEANT RETIRES AFTER OVER 28-YEARS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT: Jefferson County, Arkansas - January 31, 2018-After over 28 years of dedicated law enforcement service, Sergeant Vince Edwards is saying goodbye to fellow deputies to start a new chapter in his life. On Wednesday, Edwards was honored at the John R. Fallis Waterfront Building located in Regional Park by his colleagues during a retirement luncheon.

“Vince and I had some fond memories during our time here at the sheriff’s office,” said Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Gerald Robinson who presented him with his service pistol in a custom wooden gun box. "I’ve known Vince his entire career with the sheriff’s office. As the youngest deputies in the department at the time, we instantly bonded. We had what was referred to as the John Wayne Syndrome and we thought we were as tough as the Duke himself.”

Sheriff Robinson reflected on his relationship with Edwards outside the office sharing his account of what he referred to as Edwards’ “humorous side.”

“I quickly learned Vince has a sense of humor, which also made it hard not to like him,” Robinson said. “Oftentimes, we were in friendly competition that involved who could make the most drug arrests in a shift or for the month. We got to know each other very well to the point we considered one another brothers.”

As someone who knew Edwards professionally and personally, Robinson was proud to call him a friend.

“I would characterize Vince as being fair and compassionate, but serious about his service to this county,” said Robinson. “Oftentimes, he would lend a helping hand to his fellow deputies and to the public.”

Although Robinson will miss many things about Edwards, he stated the constant conversations about their spiritual connection with God and how thankful they were that He gave them the opportunity to serve is something he would miss the most.

“How we served the Lord was and still is our daily effort,” said Robinson smiling. “I will miss Vince’s laughter and his dedication to his friends and this department. When you know Vince, you become part of his family because believe me, you get to know all of them.”

Edwards originally began his public service career with the Arkansas Department of Corrections in February of 1988 as a correctional officer. After only being employed nine months, Edwards accepted a position with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff as a public safety officer. Edwards remained at UAPB until November 14, 1990, when he was hired by the late Sheriff William C. “Dub” Brassell.

He was originally assigned to the uniformed patrol division, where he remained until 1999. Also in 1999, Edwards was transferred to the civil division and warrants divisions, respectively. In 2012, Edwards was promoted and reassigned to the uniformed patrol division. In 2014, Edwards was promoted to the rank of sergeant and served as a field supervisor. In this role, Edwards was responsible for the direct supervision of the operations, conduct, appearance, and performance of personnel assigned under his command.  

“Watching young deputies enter and excel in the department in my proudest moments in my career,” said Edwards.

Stanley James, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy recounted his experiences working alongside Edwards.

“...Prior to me starting my career with the sheriff’s office, myself, Vince and his wife Kim Edwards had a close relationship," said teary eyes James. "Vince encouraged me to apply here. I used Vince and his father-in-law, the late Willie Perkins for a reference.  As a young deputy that lacked experience, Vince took me under his wings.”

An October 19, 1990 graduate of the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy, Edwards has numerous hours of law enforcement training. In 2017, Edwards earned his Senior Law Enforcement Training Certificate. The certificate is the highest awarded to a law enforcement officer by the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. According to the CLEST website, the purpose of the certificate is to foster professionalism, education, and experience necessary to adequately perform the duties of the law enforcement service. The awarding of this certificate requires eligible law enforcement officers to have a minimum of 30 semester college credit hours, 720 training hours, and 18 years of law enforcement experience.

After what he describes as a rewarding career in public service, Edwards hopes he leaves behind a legacy that places employees being honest at the forefront.

“I pray that the legacy I left behind would cause new and old employees to be honest, fair, and show respect for all,” said Edwards. “Reflecting back on my career, I wish I could have encouraged or convinced more people to do right on-duty and off.”

Looking back over his career, Edwards had a few pieces of advice for those in law enforcement.

“Be consistent in your duties and for the uniform officers, wear it well,” said Edwards.

Now that he is retiring, Edwards plans to continue to live a life that pleases God, which includes working in the ministry.

“I will miss the friendship and relationship of co-workers,” Edwards said.

 

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NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING IN ALTHEIMER LEAVES 2 WOUNDED

Club Ricky Mack's, formerly "The Brown Sugar Club located at 103 E. 2nd Avenue Altheimer, AR

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT

Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.

Operation Commander/Public Information Officer

870.541.5351-OFFICE/870.329.5652-CELL

Email: lafayette.woods@jeffcoso.org

NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING IN ALTHEIMER LEAVES 2 WOUNDED: Jefferson County, Arkansas - January 29, 2018-Gunfire erupted inside a small night club located at 103 E. 2nd Street in Altheimer, Arkansas early Saturday morning. The shooting left two partygoers injured.

“At this point it’s unclear exactly what instigated the shooting, as both victims refused to cooperate,” said Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Operations Commander, Major Lafayette Woods, Jr. “With a population of less than one-thousand, Club Ricky Mack’s, formerly the Brown Sugar Club has a history of gun violence to include a deadly shooting that occurred inside the club in 2005.”

The victims in this shooting have been identified as 29-year-old Adrian Boykin and 41-year-old Chevion Logan. The two were transported by car to the Jefferson Regional Medical Center (JRMC), where they received medical treatment for non-life threatening gunshot wounds and were released.

On September 10, 2005, Terrance White was found shot to death inside the club. At the time of his untimely death, White was only 23-years-old. White’s homicide remains unsolved due to lack of cooperation from witnesses.

“Witness as well as victim cooperation plays a crucial part in solving crimes and bringing offenders to justice," Woods said. "The successful conclusion of each stage in criminal proceedings often depends on the cooperation of witnesses. Without that cooperation, it makes the job of those tasked with investigating crimes all more difficult."

Investigators have developed a person of interest. The investigation is on-going.

Anyone who has additional information about this investigation is asked to contact JCSO's Criminal Investigation Division at (870) 541-5496 Mon - Fri 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. or 24/7 at (870) 541-5300. Information can also be provided via email at tips@jeffcoso.org, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jcso1830, and Twitter @JeffCtySO. Caller's anonymity is guaranteed.       

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SHERIFF'S OFFICE: PERSONS OF INTEREST IDENTIFIED

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT

Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.

Operation Commander/Public Information Officer

870.541.5351-OFFICE/870.329.5652-CELL

Email: lafayette.woods@jeffcoso.org

SHERIFF'S OFFICE: PERSONS OF INTEREST IN BREAKING OR ENTERING IDENTIFIED: Jefferson County, Arkansas - January 25, 2018-JCSO issued a press release and bulletin on Tuesday, January 23, 2018, asking for the public's help in identifying persons of interest from a breaking or entering that occurred on Ryburn Road in Jefferson County, Arkansas.

The B&E took place on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.

Evidence found at the scene led investigators to a nearby convenience store, where security cameras at the store captured video of the persons of interest in the breaking or entering. Still photos taken from surveillance video was shared to the media and public in hopes of identifying the two depicted in the photos.

 

Thanks to numerous tips from the public via phone, social media, and email, the persons of interest have been identified. This investigation is on-going. 

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JCSO WARNS OF IRS TAX SCAM CIRCULATING IN JEFF. CO.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT

Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.

Operation Commander/Public Information Officer

870.541.5351-OFFICE/870.329.5652-CELL

Email: lafayette.woods@jeffcoso.org

JCSO WARNS OF IRS TAX SCAM CIRCULATING IN JEFF. CO: Jefferson County, Arkansas - January 24, 2018-The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is warning about an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) phone scam circulating in Jefferson County.

“To date, our office has received at least three calls and one visit from a would-be victim that stated that he received a recorded message on his telephone from someone claiming to be from the IRS Headquarters,” said Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.

 

During the recorded message, the caller stated that the call was an attempt to discuss serious allegations associated with the would-be victim’s name. The recording further stated that if the victim failed to call (470) 440-1653 within 24-hours that he would be taken into custody by local law enforcement.

 

"The IRS will never contact taxpayers by phone, only by mail. If you get a suspicious call from an individual or recording claiming to be from the IRS that demands payment or threatens arrest, you’re advised to hang up and to not give out any personal information,” Woods said.

 

As an additional reminder, the IRS will never: 

 

Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you several bills.

 

Call or email you to verify your identity by asking for personal and financial information.

 

Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

 

Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

 

Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or email.

 

Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

To report suspicious calls of this type, contact IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting Hotline at (800) 366-4484, the Arkansas Attorney General Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982, or our Criminal Investigation Division at (870) 541-5496. 

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JCSO SEEKING PUBLIC'S HELP IN IDENTIFYING PERSONS OF INTEREST

Pictured Above: Person of Interest videotaped at Fast Mart convenience store.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT

Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.

Operation Commander/Public Information Officer

870.541.5351-OFFICE/870.329.5652-CELL

Email: lafayette.woods@jeffcoso.org

JCSO SEEKING PUBLIC'S HELP IN IDENTIFYING PERSONS OF INTEREST: Jefferson County, Arkansas - January 23, 2018- The Criminal Investigation Division of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is asking the public's help in identifying two people, who are persons of interest in a breaking or entering that occurred on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 on Ryburn Road in Jefferson County, Arkansas. 

The pair arrived at the store in a dark colored Chevrolet single cab pickup truck with a light colored lower panel captured on surveillance camera's at the Fast Mart convenience store located on Camden Road in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator Johnathan Powell in the Criminal Investigation Division at (870) 541-5496 Mon - Fri 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. or 24/7 at (870) 329-5650. Information can also be provided via email at tips@jeffcoso.org, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jcso1830, and Twitter @JeffCtySO. Caller's anonymity is guaranteed.        

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JEFFERSON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE ISSUES SILVER ALERT FOR 87-YEAR-OLD MAN LAST SEEN WEDNESDAY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT

Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.

Operation Commander/Public Information Officer

870.541.5351-OFFICE/870.329.5652-CELL

Email: lafayette.woods@jeffcoso.org

JEFFERSON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE ISSUES SILVER ALERT FOR 87-YEAR-OLD MAN LAST SEEN WEDNESDAY: Jefferson County, Arkansas - December 28, 2017- The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has issued a Silver Alert for an elderly man.

Charles A. Richie, 87, was last seen around 1 p.m. Wednesday in Mobile, AL.

Mr. Richie may be traveling in a Burgundy Ford F-150 pickup truck with Arkansas license plate 997 UVH.

Richie suffers from de and may be in danger.

Please call 911 if you have information concerning Mr. Richie’s whereabouts.

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