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Attorney General Alert: Vacation Scams

LITTLE ROCK - The school year is winding down, and many Arkansans are making summer vacation plans. Whether it is a trip to the beach, somewhere abroad, or one of Arkansas's many lakes or state parks, Arkansans should keep a watchful eye to avoid falling victim to a vacation scam. Scam artists are using the internet, including online advertising and social media, to pitch free or deeply discounted travel deals.

Many scammers will attempt to convince you that your friends and family members are taking advantage of this offer and you should too. Meanwhile, other scammers include being offered vacation rentals that look too good to be true. Travelers make the reservation and show up at the home or condo, only to find it was never up for rent and a scam artist stole photos and listing information to trick you out of hard earned cash. While it is possible to find a good travel deal or even win a vacation, you must stay mindful of the fact that there are bad actors seeking to ruin your fun by taking your money.   

"Scam artists will stop at nothing to take advantage of hard working Arkansans," said Attorney General Rutledge. "Fraudsters are constantly coming up with new ways to steal your money, but one thing never changes; if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is."

Attorney General Rutledge released the following list of common scams vacationers could encounter:

Third-party Booking Scam: If you book your airfare, hotel, rental car, or other travel through a third party website, use caution. After booking, scammers call consumers directly to verify personal financial information-something a legitimate company would never do. Ticket Sale Scam: Summertime is full of festivals and concerts that often sell out. Scammers take advantage of this and list tickets for sale at a discounted price. Consumers don't find out until trying to attend the event that the tickets are fake. Gasoline Scam: Scammers approach with a convincing story that they ran out of gas and money. They claim to only need $40 to fill up the tank and may even offer to mail a check to repay you. The likelihood that the repayment will be received is slim. Either refuse to give the scammers money or pay for their fuel at the nearest service station to ensure the money is spent as intended. Rideshare Service Scam: Uber or Lyft drivers approach, and mention that a passenger just canceled a trip, leaving them available for a trip, but they must be paid in cash. Often, these drivers do not even work for a legitimate rideshare company. Similarly, any drivers who claim an "outage" is preventing them from accepting payment via the Uber or Lyft system is a red flag. Cashless travel is one of the main perks of using a rideshare company. Fake Front Desk Phone Call Scam: Scam artists call hotel rooms directly, often in the middle of the night.. They say there has been a computer glitch and they need to verify your credit card information. Hang up immediately and contact the front desk to verify the call.

Some helpful travel tips include:

Put a travel alert on your debit or credit card to prevent issues or scams while out of town. Use a credit card instead of a debit card because there are more protections available and it may be easier to dispute versus losing access to the cash in your bank account. Use social media with care-don't post while you're out of town. You might be inviting a criminal into your empty house. Withdraw cash from an ATM at a financial institution versus a standalone ATM to prevent your card information from being stolen.

For more information on safe summer travel and other consumer-related issues or to file a consumer complaint, visit ArkansasAG.gov or contact the Attorney General's office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov.

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves on committees for Consumer Protection, Criminal Law and Veterans Affairs for the National Association of Attorneys General. She also served as the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.

Click it or Ticket Campaign begins Monday May 23rd 2022

2022 Click It or Ticket

Step Up and Remind People to Buckle Up       

From May 23-June 5, 2022, state and local law enforcement agencies across the nation are conducting enforcement efforts for motorists who aren't wearing their seat belts. Once again, for this year's Click It or Ticket seat belt mobilization effort, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is asking all states to participate in the Border to Border (B2B) initiative, a one-day national seat-belt awareness kickoff event coordinated by participating state highway safety offices and their respective law enforcement liaisons. B2B aims to increase law enforcement participation by coordinating highly visible seat belt enforcement and providing seat belt fact sheets for drivers at heavily traveled, highly visible state border checkpoints. 

 

Face the Facts

The national seat belt use rate in 2020 was 90.3%, which is good - but we can do better. The other 9.7% still need to be reminded that seat belts save lives. Among young adults 18 to 34 killed while riding in passenger vehicles in 2020, more than half (60%) were completely unrestrained - one of the highest percentages for all age groups. Men make up the majority of those killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. In 2020, 67% of the 23,824 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed were men. Men also wear their seat belts at a lower rate than women do - 55% of men killed in crashes were unrestrained, compared to 43% of women killed in crashes.

Bust the Myths

Vehicle type: There seems to be a misconception among those who drive and ride in pickup trucks that their large vehicles will protect them better than other vehicles would in a crash. The numbers say otherwise: 62% of pickup truck occupants who were killed in 2020 were not buckled. That's compared to 47% of passenger car occupants who were not wearing seat belts when they were killed. Regardless of vehicle type, seat belt use is the single most effective way to stay alive in a crash. Seating position: Too many people wrongly believe they are safe in the back seat unrestrained. Fifty percent of all front-seat passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2020 were unrestrained, but 59% of those killed in back seats were unrestrained. Rural versus urban locations: People who live in rural areas might believe that their crash exposure is lower, but in 2020, there were 11,922 passenger vehicle fatalities in rural locations, compared to 11,683 fatalities in urban locations. Out of those fatalities, 52% of those killed in the rural locations were not wearing their seat belts, compared to 49% in urban locations.

Click It or Ticket - Day and Night

High-visibility seat belt enforcement is important 24 hours a day, but nighttime is especially deadly for unbuckled occupants. In 2020, 58% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.-5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts. Click It or Ticket isn't about citations; it's about saving lives. In 2020, there were 10,893 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. To help prevent crash fatalities, we need to step up seat belt enforcement, day and night.

Learn more about the Click It or Ticket mobilization at www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.

 

Attorney General Alert: Don't Let Scam Artists Invade Your Devices

Attorney General Alert: Don't Let Scam Artists Invade Your Devices

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2022

Contact: Amanda Priest
Amanda Priest, (501) 414-2223
Amanda.Priest@ArkansasAG.gov


Attorney General Alert: Don't Let Scam Artists Invade Your Devices

LITTLE ROCK - Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is warning Arkansans of a prevalent tech support scam infecting common electronic devices, such as smart phones, laptops and tablets. This antivirus software scam usually begins with a phone call or pop-up message on the consumer's electronic device. The communication is actually from a fake tech support representative claiming to be from a well-known technology company.

"I urge all Arkansans to be cautious when anyone asks for access to their devices or private information," said Attorney General Rutledge. "Scam artists scour the internet and phonebooks to find unsuspecting victims who are willing to share their sensitive information."

How the scam works is that a representative or message will claim to the consumer that there is a virus infecting a device or that the consumer's virus protection has expired. The consumer is instructed to install software immediately in order to protect the device and private information. Often times, the scammer claims to need sensitive information such as account numbers, date of birth or Social Security number in order to remedy the issue. Even more terrifying, the scammer will con a victim into giving access to the device. When the device is accessed in this way, the scammers install applications that allow remote access to the device any time without the victim's knowledge or permission. The scam artists use this information for illegal activities, such as gaining access to consumer's bank accounts. Scammers will quickly drain the accounts and move on to another unsuspecting victim.

Remember these tips when safely navigating online:

No legitimate company will ever send you an unsolicited email asking for your personal information. If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply. Contact the business identified in the original message directly by using the customer service number provided to you on a reliable statement to verify the legitimacy of the message. Do not give sensitive information in response to an unsolicited request. Immediately delete all suspicious emails, and never open email attachments or click on links from unknown sources.

The Attorney General's Office provides a tip card for consumers on how to spot phishing scams, information for parents to spot cyberbullying and tips on internet safety.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Attorney General's office by calling (800) 482-8982, emailing consumer@arkansasag.gov, or visiting ArkansasAG.gov.

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves on committees for Consumer Protection, Criminal Law and Veterans Affairs for the National Association of Attorneys General. She also served as the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.

Attorney General Alert: Rx Take Back Day Scheduled for April 30

Attorney General Alert: Rx Take Back Day Scheduled for April 30

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2022

Contact: Amanda Priest
Amanda Priest, (501) 414-2223
Amanda.Priest@ArkansasAG.gov


Attorney General Alert: Rx Take Back Day Scheduled for April 30

LITTLE ROCK -The bi-annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for April 30, 2022. This is an important opportunity for Arkansans to join the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, local law enforcement and public health officials in the fight against prescription drug abuse by ridding their medicine cabinets of old and unused prescription medication. Last year, Arkansans disposed of 24,680 pounds of medications, bringing the total weight of disposed drugs to 221 tons since 2010.

"Properly disposing of prescription medications is just one small action Arkansans can take to help bring an end to the opioid and prescription drug abuse epidemic in this state," said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. "Join me in cleaning out your medicine cabinets of unused and expired prescriptions this Saturday."

Rutledge released the following list of medications that will be accepted at these events across the State:

Opioids, such as OxyContin, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, etc. Stimulants, such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Dexedrine, etc. Depressants, such as Ativan, Xanax, Valium, etc. Other prescription medications Over-the-counter medicines Pet medicines Medicated ointments and lotions Liquid medicines in glass or leak-proof containers (up to 12 ounces) Medicine samples

Medications may be returned in the original bottle or in any other container for increased privacy.

Prescription Drug Take Back locations will be available 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 30th. Although National Prescription Drug Take Back Days are held twice a year, year-round drop-off locations and other helpful information is available by visiting ARTakeBack.org.

Properly destroying these medications at appropriate disposal locations protects the environment, as flushing or pouring them down the drain can pollute water, resulting in contaminated food and water supplies. Wastewater treatment plants or septic systems may not remove many medicine compounds. Turning over these medications at Take Back Day events also reduces the risk of accidental poisonings by children, seniors or pets, as well as reduces the risk of drug abuse.

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves on committees for Consumer Protection, Criminal Law and Veterans Affairs for the National Association of Attorneys General. She also served as the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.

Public Safety Alert

The Stone County Sheriff's Department and Arkansas State Police are working on two separate death investigations in the Ben area of Stone County. Sheriff Lance Bonds is urging people to stay inside their homes and lock their doors. Deputies are patrolling the area. There is not an active shooter at this time. No other details are available at this time.

Attorney General Alert: April Showers May Bring Storm Recovery Scams

Attorney General Alert: April Showers May Bring Storm Recovery Scams

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2022

Contact: Amanda Priest
Amanda Priest, (501) 414-2223
Amanda.Priest@ArkansasAG.gov


Attorney General Alert: April Showers May Bring Storm Recovery Scams

LITTLE ROCK - Every spring, Arkansas and other southern states are hit by heavy rains and severe weather. While many Arkansans want to help their neighbors clean up after a storm, con artists will seize the opportunity to take advantage during a vulnerable moment. Arkansans must keep their home and family safe from a fraudster trying to make a quick buck.

"Spring storms and recovery efforts often bring an increase in door-to-door scam artists," said Attorney General Rutledge. "Make sure you follow steps to avoid falling prey to con artists who use recovery efforts to scam Arkansans."

Attorney General Rutledge encourages you to follow these tips to find legitimate individuals to perform your home repairs:  

Beware of door-to-door solicitors selling home-repair work. To find someone reputable, ask friends or family who have recently used a home-repair contractor or professional. Consider contacting the Arkansas Contractor's Licensing Board to verify that the contractor is licensed and has not had any complaints filed against it. Avoid any home-repair solicitor who asks for an upfront payment or who will not provide you with a written contract. Get at least three written estimates. A reputable contractor or professional will never try to pressure you to obtain your business. Obtain and check at least three references from your contractor or professional. Check with the Attorney General's office or the Better Business Bureau to find out if the company has a complaint history. Obtain a written and detailed contract that includes the grade, quality, name brand and quantity of any materials to be used. The name and address of the contractor must be on the contract. Avoid paying for the entire job up front. One-third paid in advance, one-third paid halfway through the job and one-third paid upon completion is a better plan, helping assure that your project will be completed. Never make the final payment until you have had an opportunity to inspect the work. Remember that all contracts resulting from a home-solicitation sale generally must include a buyer's right to cancel within three business days after the contract is signed. Make sure all warranties and guarantees are in writing. A contractor cannot promise that your insurance company will cover the work done.  Verify your insurance coverage and authorized contractors before you agree to pay for repairs.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General's Office at consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves on committees for Consumer Protection, Criminal Law and Veterans Affairs for the National Association of Attorneys General. She also served as the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.

MULTIPLE ARRESTS MADE

Stone County Sheriff's Department

Sheriff Lance Bonds

Press Release

Breaking or Entering and Aggravated Assault:

On March 25, 2022, Chief Deputy Dammon McGilton arrested Keisha N. SULLIVAN, age 31, of Big Flat for Breaking or Entering at a location in Onia.  While attempting to make an arrest, SULLIVAN began fighting the deputy and swung a small child into Deputy McGilton in an attempt to get away.  SULLIVAN is charged with Breaking or Entering, Aggravated Assault involving the child, Endangering the Welfare of a Minor in the first degree, and resisting arrest.  She is charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor.  She is also being held in the Stone County Jail on a parole violation.   

Drug Bust: 

On March 26, 2022, at approximately 12:11 a.m., Deputies Bryan Rose and Justin Balentine was working patrol on Highway 14 east near Saint James when they observed a Blue Honda Car traveling west bound with a busted tail light and crossing the center line on multiple occasions.  Deputy Rose and Balentine stopped the vehicle.  Deputy Trevor Leonard and Deputy Nathan Masterson arrived to assist on the stop.  Deputies identified the driver as Heath GRIFFIN, age 40, of Oxley.  Deputies learned that the GRIFFIN had a warrant out of Conway and a suspended driver's license.  Deputies also smelled marijuana and Deputy Leonard observed brown powder scattered throughout the front seat and from his training and experience knows that to be KRATOM, a schedule I narcotic.  The vehicle was searched and deputies located marijuana dabs and other marijuana paraphernalia.  Deputy Balentine located a box in the rear of the vehicle containing approximately 4, 056 grams of KRATOM which is approximately 8.9 pounds. 

GRIFFIN was arrested for Trafficking a Schedule I Narcotic over 200 grams.  The charge is a Class Y Felony.  His bond was set at $25,000.00.  KRATOM has been banned in Arkansas since 2016.  It contains Opioid products and is highly addictive with no medical use.  It is banned in several States and other States are attempting to ban the illicit drug.  The street value of the drug is approximately $5,000.00.  GRIFFIN is set to appear in Stone County Circuit Court in April.  

Vehicle theft:

On March 28, 2022, Sergeant Joe Beaudin responded to a residence on Highway 5 south in reference to a truck theft.  A 2005 Ford F-150 was stolen from the residence.  After further investigation, Sgt. Beaudin was able to track down the suspect and vehicle in Mississippi.  The vehicle was located and recovered by authorities in Mississippi and the suspect was named.  The suspect is Casey PATTERSON, W/F, age 25, of Mississippi.  Investigator Justin Meeks obtained a felony arrest warrant for theft of a motor vehicle over $5,000.00.  The warrant will be entered into the system and PATTERSON will be picked up at a later date.          

Felony charges filed

Stone County Sheriff's Department

Press Release

03/25/2022

According to Chief Deputy Dammon McGilton on Friday 03/25/2022, charges have been filed on Phillip "Travis" BAUGH, age 42, of Mountain View on four counts of Delivery of Crystal Meth.  These charges stem from a long-term investigation by Chief Deputy Dammon McGilton and Special Agent Geoffrey Watts of the 16th District Drug Task Force, where they utilized a cooperating source to purchase amounts of Crystal Meth in an undercover capacity.  BAUGH sold Crystal Meth on four separate occasions.  The four charges are Class "C" Felonies and if convicted carries a sentence of 3 to 10 years each in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.  The bond was set by a judge for $50,000.00.  BAUGH is being held in the Stone County Jail for the deliveries as well as a failure to appear in circuit court on other drug-related charges and a bond revocation.  The Sheriff's Department and Drug Task Force will continue the fight on the drug issue in Stone County.

Rutledge Joins Arkansas Banks in Warning of Latest Scam

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2022

Contact: Amanda Priest
Amanda Priest, (501) 414-2223
Amanda.Priest@ArkansasAG.gov


Attorney General Alert: Rutledge Joins Arkansas Banks in Warning of Latest Scam

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined First Community Bank and banks around the nation warning Arkansans about the latest scam sweeping the State. The newest scam involves con artists spoofing a phone number to cause the bank's fraud department name and number to display on the phone's caller I.D. The scammer will use official-sounding conversation to gain the trust and then ask for the consumer to provide a verification code via text message. The code will give the scammer access to the consumer's account, and even change the online banking password. The scammer will then transfer the funds in the account via a third party app, such as Zelle.  

"Con artists will use any means necessary to trick hardworking individuals out of their money," said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. "It is vital that consumers are aware of these types of scams and are cautious before giving out personal or financial information.  I will continue to sound the alarm to prevent consumers from losing their lifesavings and to hold these crooks accountable."

"This type of fraud is a growing problem in our state and we want everyone to know that First Community Bank or any bank in Arkansas will never call a customer asking for their account number or a password," said Dale Cole, First Community Bank Chairman and CEO. "The criminals are calling, sending texts, emails and sometimes mailing letters. Please be careful and never give any personal information to the criminals when they contact you!"

You should follow these steps to ensure that your personal information and banking information remains secure:

Never provide information such as date of birth, social security number or account information over the phone to an unknown caller When in doubt, hang up the phone and call the number on the back of your debit card or visit your local bank branch for assistance Don't click on suspicious links sent via text message asking for verification Always shred important documents that may contain personal or account information

For more information related to scams, call the Attorney General's Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves on committees for Consumer Protection, Criminal Law and Veterans Affairs for the National Association of Attorneys General. She also served as the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.

Drug Arrests made

Stone County Press Release

March 24, 2022

According to Chief Deputy Dammon McGilton, on March 22, 2022, multiple members of the Stone County Sheriff's Department and 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force was out working Drug Interdiction throughout Stone County.  On March 23, at approximately 1:50a.m., Chief Deputy McGilton and Special Agent Blake Cruz, with the Drug Task Force, stopped a 2002 Grey Chevrolet pickup on Highway 5 South near Bob Davis Mountain Road for careless driving.  Upon making contact with the vehicle, officers smelled the odor of burned marijuana.  Officers identified the driver as Tiffany JONES, age 36, of Redfield, Arkansas and passenger as Anthony BERENDS, age 31, of Redfield, AR.  Chief Deputy McGilton and Agent Cruz recognized indicators that were consistent in drug trafficking.  Probable cause to search arose and other officers arrived on the scene to assist.  After further investigation, Chief Deputy McGilton located approximately 28 grams of Methamphetamine and a loaded 9mm handgun in the vehicle.  Agents located a meth pipe and approximately 3 grams of meth on BERENDS.  Officers learned that Anthony BERENDS was a documented gang member, "Gangster Disciple" out of Pine Bluff, who is also on Parole with an extensive firearm and drug history.  Throughout the investigation, officers learned from interviews that BERENDS and JONES had been transporting and supplying Crystal Methamphetamine to others in Stone County.  Crystal Meth has a street value of approximately $3,000.00. 

Anthony BERENDS is charged with Possession of Crystal Meth 10 to 200 grams with the purpose to deliver, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, possession of firearms by a certain person, possession of drug paraphernalia, and being a habitual offender.  His bond was set at $50,000.00 and he has a parole hold out of the State of Arkansas.   

Tiffany Jones is charged with possession of crystal meth 10 to 200 grams with the purpose to deliver and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms.  Her bond was set at $30,000.00.    

Chief Deputy McGilton stated that it is a great deal when members of the Sheriff's Department and other agencies come together to combat the illicit drug problem in Stone County.  A special thanks to the 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force and Mountain View Police Department for all their hard work and assistance throughout many of the investigations within Stone County.  "We need to stay aggressive with these Narcotic Distributors, not only in our County but other cities and counties throughout Arkansas that supply our County".   

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