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Former reserve deputy and FBI suspect drug tested at jail

Reserve Deputy arrested by feds; Sheriff says “Nobody is above the law”
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 11:31 AM CDT
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GREENE COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - A Greene County reserve deputy that was arrested by federal authorities Thursday, was also drug tested over the weekend according to police reports.

Jason Wolfenbarger, 40, was arrested Thursday during an FBI raid of his home, and according to a Jonesboro Police report, Wolfenbarger was drug tested Friday while at the Craighead Co. Detention Center.

According to the report, an FBI agent asked and received permission from a judge to pull urine, blood, and a hair sample from Wolfenbarger.

The report states the test will be sent to the State Crime Lab in Little Rock.

In an exclusive with Region 8 News, Greene County Sheriff Steve Franks spoke about the investigation into Wolfenbarger. Wolfenbarger was arrested Thursday evening after federal authorities went to a home on Warner Drive in Oak Grove Heights.

Franks said Wolfenbarger was a reserve deputy but had not worked with the agency in a major way in several months.

“You know, I can say, you know, Mr. Wolfenbarger had a full-time job that he did every day and he was, he was listed, you know, as a reserve here in Greene County and you know I can say he hadn’t worked as the reserve (on patrol) in probably four or five months,” Franks said.

However, Franks said Wolfenbarger worked sporadically, possibly once or twice a week, doing traffic duty between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. at Greene County Tech Junior High School in Paragould. Wolfenbarger also had access to a sheriff’s department vehicle while he was doing traffic duty.

From there, Wolfenbarger would go to his full-time job, Franks said.

Franks said he requires reserve deputies to work eight hours a month, but noted there were some concerns about Wolfenbarger not working. However, Franks said he had heard that Wolfenbarger had some family issues and let the eight-hour requirement pass.

But, Franks said when he found out about the information, he had to turn the information over to the other agency.

Several law enforcement agencies converged at the home in and Region 8 News was the only media source on-site, at Warner Drive in Oak Grove Heights.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas State Police, and the FBI were all on the scene as the arrest was made. Our reporter saw a Paragould Police Department drug dog brought to the location and began sweeping the area.

Connor Hagan, public affairs officer for the FBI office in Little Rock, could not give a reason Thursday as to why agents were at the home, only confirming the FBI made an arrest at the home.

Region 8 News has confirmed that the FBI is the lead investigative agency. Franks said he received information about a month or so ago about something that “concerned me a lot.”

Franks, who could not disclose the charges against Wolfenbarger but said he expects information to be released soon, then turned over the information to another agency so they could investigate it.

“I look at it, nobody is above the law,” Franks said. “I don’t care who you are, you’re not above the law,” Franks said. “When I put this badge on every day, I look at the integrity of the office.”

Franks said the investigation is not centered around the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, but said the investigation involves something in Wolfenbarger’s personal life.

Wolfenbarger was terminated Friday as the executive director of the Northeast Arkansas Solid Waste Management District.

Region 8 News requested the reasoning behind Wolfenbarger’s firing, and Robert Thompson, attorney for the Northeast Arkansas Solid Waste Management District, was in the process of fulfilling the request.

Thompson said he had to send a certified letter since Wolfenbarger is currently housed in the CCDC.

Region 8 News is hoping to learn the reasoning behind the board’s termination this week.

Region 8 News was on Warner Drive in Oak Grove Heights as the FBI and Arkansas State Police...
Region 8 News was on Warner Drive in Oak Grove Heights as the FBI and Arkansas State Police worked a scene.(KAIT)

Bill Sadler, Public Information Officer for ASP said: “The role of the Arkansas State Police is limited in this matter. Special Agents of the department’s Criminal Investigation Division have been involved in an assisting capacity. All inquiries should be directed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

Region 8 News is continuing to work on getting more details confirmed. As soon as we learn more, we will update this story.

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