LITTLE ROCK—A former chief deputy of the Stone County Sheriff’s Office appeared in federal court today to be charged with bank fraud, selling a stolen firearm and extortion. Zachary Hunter Alexander, 36, of Fifty Six, Arkansas, was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 3 and made his first appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edie R. Erwin.

The indictment alleges Alexander solicited money in 2018 from the Stone County Sheriff‘s Foundation to purchase AR-15 style firearms for the sheriff’s office. According to the indictment, the Foundation provided more than $4,000, which Alexander deposited into his personal account. Apparently, Alexander provided and signed an invoice listing six firearms and their serial numbers, which turned out to be fraudulent, and this invoice was used to authorize a $3,090 charge on the sheriff’s office credit card. .

In addition to these firearms, the indictment alleges that Alexander sold a sniper rifle to another individual, which is the basis of the charge of selling a stolen firearm, as the firearm belonged to the Stone County Sheriff’s Office and was purchased with Foundation money. Alexander also faces five counts of extortion under the guise of official law, and the indictment alleges he abused his authority as chief deputy sheriff to obtain money he used for himself. The indictment alleges that Alexander made various deposits totaling more than $105,000.

If convicted, Alexander faces potential penalties for bank fraud of up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $1 million, and no more than five years of supervised release. The sale of a stolen firearm is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release. Extortion under cover of official law is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and a maximum probation of three years.

An indictment only contains allegations. An accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Press Release – United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas

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