Osceola Car Dealer Arrested in Multi-Agency Probe Involving FBI - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Osceola, AR - Melissa Simas reports

Osceola Car Dealer Arrested in Multi-Agency Probe Involving FBI

October 29, 2004 - Posted at 6:35 p.m. CDT

Osceola, AR - An Osceola car dealer has been arrested by officers with the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department as the result of a seven-month long investigation into the theft of several stolen items from Tennessee and Arkansas.

Officials say 61 year old J.W. Hall is no stranger to the law. Hall is currently out on $25,000 bond from the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department for having a controlled substance with the intent to deliver, as well as possession of illegal firearms. Hall still faces an uphill battle with the feds.

"He was kind of surprised I think," said Criminal Investigator Ed Guthrie.

The FBI recently conducted an undercover investigation at Hall's business, finding over $200,000 in stolen items, including a tractor taken from a property in Craighead County.

"The majority of the merchandise we were finding like the tractors were coming out of Shelby County," said Guthrie.

We approached Mr. Hall outside his Auto Sales shop in Osceola for a comment about the investigation. He first told us Mr. Hall was dead. Later this is what he had to say to us.

"The Mississippi County Sheriff's Department is not worth (expletive)," said Hall. "Why don't ya'll do a story on what good people do, I don't need to defend myself, I don't need publicity, ya'll just come on my yard and start a bunch of bull."

Authorities believe Hall could face an FBI indictment sometime next week. The say Hall's been arrested before for a similar incident

"Our indications are that several people knew that there were things going wrong, but they never came forward," said Guthrie.

Meanwhile, Hall's employee who wishes to remain unnamed is sticking by his boss completely.

"He helps a lot of these folks around here, folks that can't afford a car he helps them out, he ain't no thief, said the employee.

Whether or not Hall is indicted, officials say this is the biggest sting operation ever conducted in Mississippi County.

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