Former Federal Marshal Pleads Guilty to Obstructing Governmental Operations

JUNE 9, 2006 - Posted at 7:59 a.m. CST

FORT SMITH, AR - Former U.S. Marshal Ray Carnahan has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstructing governmental operations.  Carnahan, who resigned his post on April 28, entered the plea yesterday in federal court at Fort Smith.

After Carnahan entered his plea, the state Game & Fish Commission released a full report on an incident that occured on October 1 in the Ouachita National Forest.  According to that report, Carnahan grabbed a wildlife officer after he was pulled over near Waldron.

A state wildlife officer said in the report that Carnahan was pulled over on suspicion of illegal bear hunting.  The report said Carnahan grabbed the wildlife officer and told the officer he was a U.S. marshal.  The report says that at one point Carnahan told the officer, "You can call the president," when the wildlife officer suggested that each of their supervisors should speak.

The report described the encounter as "interference with a law enforcement officer."

Before becoming the chief law enforcement officer for the state's Eastern District, Carnahan was a commander for the Arkansas State Police, where he worked for 35 years, including 24 years as the state fire marshal.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)