Lonoke County Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Graham filed charges June 5 and 6 in unrelated arrests involving a former Austin alderman and a Ward police officer. Ward Chief of Police Steve Benton said the officer, Michelle Scroggins, resigned upon learning the charge had been filed.
Jeremy Reed, 32, of Ward, a former Austin City Council member, was arrested April 4, the result of an investigation that began in August 2011. On Wednesday, felony charges of simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, maintaining a premises in a drug-free zone, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance with purpose to deliver; laundering proceeds; and a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia were filed against Reed by Graham.
Also charged was Stephanie Reed, 37, also of Ward, with the felonies of maintaining a premises in a drug-free zone; possession of a schedule VI controlled substance with purpose to deliver; laundering proceeds; and a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.
The investigation began in August 2011 after Lonoke County sheriff’s investigators answered a complaint of synthetic marijuana being sold at Rock’s Smoke and Bait store.
According to the affidavit, Reed provided samples of the product, which investigators sent to the State Crime Laboratory for testing. One tested as an illegal substance, the other two tested as synthetic substances with a similar chemical structure – a violation of state law.
The arrests were made in April after investigators made controlled purchases of similar products at the store.
On June 5, Graham filed a felony charge of theft of property against Carolyn Michelle Scroggins, 41, of Cabot. Scroggins was serving as a Ward police officer. She resigned her post upon being charged.
The charge is the result of an Arkansas State Police investigation begun in August 2011 on a complaint filed in July 2011.
According to the affidavit, the complainant said jewelry was noticed as missing during the time Scroggins, with her boyfriend, had lived at the same residence.
The investigator reported that Scroggins said in an interview that she had pawned some of complainant’s jewelry, but did so at the request of complainant and had turned all money over to her.
Scroggins surmised that the complainant was either attempting an insurance ploy, or was angry for her having moved out of the home.
Scroggins’ boyfriend denied knowledge of her taking jewelry, and that jewelry he had pawned belonged to Scroggins. A bracelet he had pawned was located at a pawn shop; the complainant said the bracelet was not hers.
The complainant denied having asked Scroggins to pawn any jewelry, neither had she received any money from Scroggins outside of that for rent.
Scroggins declined a polygraph examination, stating she “had her reasons,” and the she was taking medication that made her nervous.