Defendant Took Over $30,000 Used In Ruse Undercover Drug Operation
LITTLE ROCK—A former Greene County Sheriff’s Lieutenant has pleaded guilty to stealing over $30,000 used in a ruse undercover drug operation. Allen Scott Pillow, 56, of Paragould, pleaded guilty today to one count of theft of government funds. Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Office of the FBI, announced the guilty plea. Pillow entered his plea earlier today before United States District Judge Lee P. Rudofsky.
After receiving information that former Lieutenant Pillow might be abusing his role with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, FBI Special Agents and Task Force Officers conducted a ruse narcotics investigation and sought Pillow’s help with the investigation. On November 4, 2019, FBI parked a rental vehicle in a commercial parking lot in Paragould and staged a glass drug pipe in the vehicle along with a red backpack containing $76,000. The cash was divided into ten bundles of $7,600 each, and investigators recorded the serial numbers.
After staging the vehicle, two FBI Task Force Officers contacted Pillow on his cell phone and asked him to respond to the scene. The officers relayed to Pillow that they began a narcotics investigation in Tennessee and now needed Pillow’s help as the target had traveled into Arkansas. Pillow traveled to the scene in his Sheriff’s Department vehicle, searched the staged rental vehicle, and recovered the glass pipe, backpack, and currency.
Later that day, Pillow called the FBI officers and informed them that the backpack had contained $45,600, leading agents to believe Pillow had taken four bundles of $7,600 each, totaling $30,400 of stolen FBI funds. Agents obtained a search warrant for Pillow’s residence and found $2,300 in his possession and $27,820 in a safe in his attic. The serial numbers on the discovered currency matched the original FBI serial numbers. The remaining $280 in stolen funds was not located.
“The vast majority of law enforcement officers are honorable men and women who put their lives on the line every day to preserve our liberty and safety,” United States Attorney Cody Hiland said. “On the very rare occasion that we encounter corruption within law enforcement, we will take every action necessary to root it out. Our office will hold accountable any officer who violates the public trust so that we may uphold the integrity of a profession that deserves our gratitude and respect.”
“The appalling criminal actions of former Lt. Scott Pillow revealed his lack of integrity and greed,” said FBI Little Rock Special Agent in Charge Diane Upchurch. “Quite simply, he betrayed his brothers and sisters in law enforcement. Officers who are sworn to protect and serve are held to a higher standard, and FBI Little Rock will continue to uphold Arkansans’ trust in law enforcement.”
Pillow was indicted in November 2019, and Judge Rudofsky will sentence Pillow at a later date. Theft of government funds is punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000, and not more than three years of supervised release. The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erin O’Leary