An investigation followed by a search warrant resulted in the recovery of stolen equipment, including side-by-side utility vehicles, a four-wheeler and a pickup truck according to online court documents. The investigation and search was conducted by the Van Buren County Sheriff’s office.
Three were arrested in connection with the incident: Ashley Turner, 29, of the Bee Branch address, charged with three counts of theft by receiving, Alex Graham, 30, of Clinton, charged with three counts of theft, 16 counts of possession of firearms by certain persons and one count of criminal use of prohibited weapons, and Kenneth Reid, 56, also of the Bee Branch address, charged with three counts of theft, two counts of criminal use of a prohibited weapon and drug charges.
According to the affidavits filed in connection with the charges, deputies were on patrol in the area of the Bee Branch address June 29, having received information that “multiple stolen side by sides and 4-wheelers” were in the area.
As they drove past the home they spotted a side-by-side and four-wheeler in the yard. They turned to investigate, but by the time they returned to the property “… the 4-wheeler was gone and dust was behind the house.” Officers, per the report, knocked on the door with no answer. They continued to investigate, finding Turner in the back yard of the house. Here the report noted the side-by-side matched the description of one which was stolen.
Turner told officer’s the house was Reid’s, and Graham lived at a campsite officers saw to the rear of the property. A second side-by-side, also matching the description of one which had been stolen, was seen near the campsite. The checked its VIN and confirmed it was stolen. A truck parked nearby was checked and it returned as being stolen from Searcy County. Officers found various cars, tools and tool boxes on the property, some with VIN removed. The officers also noted “… knives and machetes staged around the property. And multiple camera systems.”
The officers also took three loaded guns from the home’s back porch “for safekeeping,” per the report.
The truck and side by side were taken and impounded. Suspecting stolen property in the home with drug paraphernalia visible inside the house, an officer applied for a search warrant and a deputy was left on-site pending the warrant’s approval.
Officers, including Van Buren County Sheriff Lucas Emberton executed the search warrant the next morning, June 30. They knocked on the door repeatedly then entered. The report noted Reid had a loaded pistol on him when he was found. He and Graham were “… taken into custody without incident.”
The report continues: “In the residence we located 17 firearms, some that had been altered, multiple boxes of ammunition, drugs and drug paraphernalia.”
Continuing: “The guns were spread around and hidden in the home. Behind doors, wrapped in paper, in the corners of rooms, next to the bed [where Reid and Graham] were. Both men had loaded guns within their reach.”
The recovery took place at a Bee Branch address, east of Hwy. 65.
A large bag of marijuana was found in the refrigerator. Reid and Graham were jailed. Graham shows to be in custody at press time, with no bond listed.