LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT/KARK) - An auxiliary Arkansas County deputy arrested earlier this week by federal authorities was involved in a case involving stolen firearms and extortion, United States Attorney Cody Hiland said Wednesday.
According to a report from Little Rock television station KARK, Charles David Chastain of Stuttgart was arrested by FBI agents on suspicion of interference with commerce by threats of violence -specifically, extortion under color of official right.
Federal prosecutors said in a statement Chastain worked for the Tri-County Drug Task Force and reportedly used a confidential informant for six controlled buys of illegal drugs, KARK reported.
The informant told authorities that Chastain began pressuring the informant since August 2017 to steal an ATV for "Chastain's personal use in exchange for $1,000 and favorable treatment concerning CHS1's pending drug charges."
In November 2017, the informant allegedly stole the ATV from a Monroe County shop, KARK reported.
A week later, the informant went to the FBI and said they and another informant had been working for Chastain in "an effort to reduce their charges or sentence."
"CHS1 reported that the theft of the ATV to the FBI, stating Chastain pressured CHS1 and CHS2 to steal the ATV," prosecutors told the television station. "CHS2 also reported that Chastain was propositioning CHS2 for sex. CHS1 and CHS2 told FBI agents they were worried if they did not comply with Chastain's demands, Chastain would diminish or refuse to give them credit for their previous cooperation."
Prosecutors allege that Chastain had also asked the informant to steal firearms from a storage unit in Arkansas County on Dec. 17. Then, the informant contacted Chastain on Dec. 19 about the firearms.
"On Dec. 19, CHS1 contacted Chastain and agreed to sell three rifles to Chastain for $300 because they were reported to be stolen. CHS1 told Chastain the firearms were stolen," prosecutors said. "FBI and Arkansas State Police (ASP) provided CHS1 with three firearms consisting of 1 fully automatic AK-47, one Colt M16A1 and one Winchester M14. Chastain met with CHS1 and took possession of the three rifles. Shortly thereafter Chastain was arrested and taken into custody, FBI and ASP executed a search warrant on the shop, a stolen Polaris 900 was located and seized as evidence."
Chastain was being held Wednesday in the Pulaski County jail.