A former Stone County Deputy Sheriff has been indicted on federal charges.
Stone County Sheriff Lance Bonds said the indictment of Zachary H. Alexander, filed in the United States District Court of the Eastern District on May 3, stemmed from an investigation that began during the first part of 2020. The sheriff said that’s when he began suspecting Alexander, who was the chief deputy at the time, of theft.
In a media release on Tuesday, Bonds said he alerted his chief investigator at the time, Dammon McGilton, to begin an internal investigation of Alexander. The sheriff said McGilton reported back that theft had allegedly occurred.
In March 2020, Alexander was terminated, and Bonds and McGilton notified 16th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Eric Hance of the department’s investigation and requested the assistance of the Arkansas State Police as the lead investigator. A case file from the sheriff’s department was presented to the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigative Unit, the release said.
State Police investigators along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) began looking into Alexander concerning the sheriff’s department and other activities that Alexander had been involved in. The sheriff said Alexander had allegedly misappropriated funds and moved money around in certain accounts in an attempt to hide his activity. Bonds also said Alexander is accused of altering paperwork involving department-issued firearms.
According to the release, the indictment showed Alexander is charged with 11 counts: Counts one through seven involved the sheriff’s department activity, and counts eight through eleven involved a private outdoors business that Alexander had at the time.
Sheriff Bonds said Alexander is being charged with theft, check “kiting” (the illegal process of writing a check off of a bank account with inadequate funds to cover that check, according to Banknote.com), and firearms charges.
Bonds said he is “grateful that my investigator, the Arkansas State Police, and the ATF were able to put together a case for the Stone County Sheriff’s Department.”
“It’s heartbreaking when someone you trust in your department violates the Code of Ethics, and tarnishes the entire department,” he said.
Alexander’s case is now pending in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Bonds said he and department representatives have been unable to discuss the case because the investigation was ongoing. He also noted that the outbreak of the pandemic at the time slowed work in the investigation.
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