On May 21st at approximately 2:48PM the Pope County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of storm damage with injury on Hurricane Lane north of Atkins. On arrival emergency responders located a patient who had become trapped due to a fallen tree and who was quickly extricated and transported to St. Mary’s ER. A search of the area by deputies and troopers revealed other damage, but no other injuries. Sheriff Jones would like to thank the quick response by all responding agencies that ensured the best outcome possible in this event.
At approximately 8:45 PM on 5/19/2019, Pope County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Illinois Bayou on SR 164 North on a report of a child swept downstream while swimming in the water. Pope County OEM Swift Water Rescue was notified and also responded along with other local responders to assist. Search efforts continued until approximately 2:30AM and then resumed again at around 8:30AM. Shortly after 10:00AM the 10 year old female victim was located by divers in the water and confirmed to be deceased. Sheriff Jones would like to thank all the responding agencies who assisted in the search effort. Please keep this family in your prayers during this tragic time.
Sheriff Shane Jones confirms that the Arkansas State Police is investigating an incident of an Officer Involved Shooting involving a Pope County Deputy on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. The Deputy involved has been placed on paid, administrative leave pending the investigation, and no other information will be released at this time. Any questions pertaining to the investigation should be referred to the Arkansas State Police.
On Thursday, 11/29/2018, at approximately 6:47 p.m., deputies responded to a call of a possible non-custodial kidnapping in the area of Crow Mountain. Upon arrival, deputies discovered the non-custodial father of the juvenile had requested to see the child before traveling out of state. The complainant stated that while holding the child, the suspect went to his vehicle to retrieve some items for the child. At that time, the suspect entered the vehicle with the child and left the residence. A search of the area was conducted with the assistance of the Arkansas State Police and surrounding agencies. After putting out a BOLO (Be on the lookout), the vehicle was located by ASP and Clarksville PD at a business in Clarksville. As law enforcement approached the vehicle, the male suspect fled on foot and was captured shortly thereafter, with the assistance of the Johnson County K-9 Unit. A female, identified as Katelynn Martin, was also in the vehicle, but was released after determining she was not a suspect. Investigator Russell Hill with the Pope County Sheriff’s Office arrived and took over the investigation. The child was located unharmed at a residence in Clarksville. The suspect was booked into the Pope County Detention Center and is identified as Billy Johns. He will appear before Judge Don Bourne Friday morning for a felony bond hearing.
Sheriff Jones stated that with the cooperation of surrounding agencies, this incident was swiftly reconciled and the child was returned to the mother. He would like to extend his gratitude to the Arkansas State Police, Clarksville Police Department and Johnson County Sheriff’s Office for the active roles they played as the events unfolded.
The investigation is ongoing and no further information will be released at this time.
On Wednesday, November 7th, Pope County Sheriff’s Department Investigators arrested Cameron Hamrick. Allegations of sexual assault of a juvenile female were made against Hamrick. Hamrick was interviewed and subsequently arrested for rape.
Hamrick is being held at the Pope County Detention Center in lieu of a $250,000 bond pending filing of formal charges. He will appear in Circuit Court on 12/17/18.
Sheriff Shane Jones was honored to present three local schools with grant checks from the Arkansas Sheriff’s Association for Red Ribbon Week.
Center Valley Elementary $444.55
Russellville Upper Elementary 5th Grade $704.66
Crawford Elementary $1000.00
Sheriff Jones states that, “The Arkansas Sheriff’s Association strives to assist educators with their role in the lives of our young citizens, and this money will directly impact over 1200 students here in Pope County.”
Sheriff Shane Jones announces that on Monday, September 17, 2018, a multi-jurisdictional drug sweep took place. Throughout the course of the day, there were 54 individuals arrested and 25 of those had outstanding warrants. Seized during the operation were the following:
507 pounds of marijuana
43 marijuana plants
676 prescription pills
12 pounds of methamphetamine
The total value of drugs seized is $2,054,660.00
Agencies participating in the action were:
Franklin County SO
Johnson County SO
Pope County SO
Yell County SO
Arkansas State Police
5th Judicial Drug Task Force
Sheriff Jones wishes to thank all involved for their dedication in taking drugs off the street and adding a measure of safety to our communities. “As law enforcement officers, we are tasked with battling the enormous epidemic of drugs on the streets. Each arrest made and every pound of drugs seized sends the message that we are fed-up with seeing our citizens, young and old, succumbing to the evil of illicit drugs in our society”, stated Sheriff Jones.
On 8/27/18 at approximately 12:24PM an Arkansas Game and Fish Officer was assisting Pope County Sheriff’s Office on a report of a suspicious person in the 2000 block of Old Hwy 124 at Dollar General. While responding, deputies were notified that a citizen had called 911 stating that the Game and Fish officer was unconscious following an altercation with the suspect. On deputies arrival it was learned that the suspect had fled the scene on foot in the area, and a perimeter was set up by other responding units as a search of the area began. At approximately 2:40PM, the suspect, Jay Burgess, was located and taken into custody in the area of 3000 SR 124. Sheriff Shane Jones would like to thank all the local departments who assisted in locating the suspect. Russellville Police Department, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Tech University, Pottsville Police Department, Dover Marshall’s Office, London Police Department, Arkansas Highway Police, and Arkansas Game and Fish. The officer involved was transported by EMS and is reported to be in good condition.
On the evening of Friday, August 3, 2018, an investigation was opened by the Russellville Police Department at the request of Pope County Sheriff, Shane Jones. Sheriff Jones had been informed of possible inappropriate sexual contact between a member of the sheriff’s staff and a current inmate being housed at the facility. As the investigation unfolded, it was discovered that a second member of the staff also had inappropriate sexual contact with the same inmate. As a result of the investigation, two female employees were immediately terminated and placed under arrest. One employee, Lauren Elliott, was arrested on charges of Sexual Assault 4th Degree and the second employee, Billie Tucker, was arrested on charges of Sexual Assault 4th Degree and Introducing Prohibited Articles into a Correctional Facility. Both will appear before Judge Don Bourne in felony bond hearings on Monday morning.
Sheriff Shane Jones is deeply saddened by the actions of his former employees. Sheriff Jones understands that the public trust is the most valuable thing a law enforcement agency can possess. He hopes that his quick action and response to these allegations demonstrates to the public that his employees are being held to the same standards as the public this agency serves. Sheriff Jones stated “I am heartbroken by the betrayal of two trusted employees and these actions will not be tolerated.”
The investigation is ongoing by the Russellville Police Department and the 5th Judicial Prosecuting Attorney and no other statement will be made at this time.
******FUGITIVE IS NOW IN CUSTODY*****
The manhunt for Cory Donnelly has now ended with the subject being apprehended. Sheriff Jones would like to thank the citizens in the area for cooperating and being diligent during this manhunt.
Donnelly was last seen wearing a red shirt, dark pants, wearing a backpack and has possibly dyed his hair red. The search is currently centered in the Linker Mountain area.
A manhunt is currently underway in the area of Shinn Mountain Loop and 333 for Cory Donnelly, approximately 31 years of age. Donnelly is wanted by several agencies on outstanding warrants. He is 5'9", 150 pounds, brown hair and brown eyes. He has stars tattooed on each wrist. Please take precautions in locking all vehicles on your property as well as your residences. Donnelly is considered dangerous. If you see this subject, call 911 immediately.