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Arkansas Sheriff Relieved of Duties, Indicted on Obstruction and Concealment Charges

A southwest Arkansas sheriff has been ordered by a federal judge to give up all his law enforcement duties and stay away from the sheriff’s office following his indictment and arrest on charges of obstruction of justice and concealing a crime, the Associated Press reports. The indictment and an earlier sworn statement by an FBI agent say Hot Spring County Sheriff Scott Finkbeiner tried to get federal agents to stop investigating a drug dealer who had provided him with methamphetamine. Prosecutors said in an earlier court filing that Finkbeiner had said he would fire or lay off potential witnesses who worked for the sheriff’s department, asked two elected constables to investigate the case for him in what could be interpreted as witness intimidation, and claimed he would release a Hot Spring County jail inmate if the inmate gave Finkbeiner information about his own case. By agreeing to give up his duties as sheriff, Finkbeiner appears to have avoided a renewed push by federal prosecutors to jail him before trial. He’s currently free on $5,000 bail.

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