LITTLE ROCK—A former Chief Deputy with the Stone County Sheriff’s Office appeared in federal court today for arraignment on charges of 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 initial appearance today before United States Magistrate Judge Edie R. Erwin.
The indictment alleges that 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 over $4,000, which Alexander deposited into his personal account. Allegedly, 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 expenditure on the Sheriff’s Office credit card.
In addition to those firearms, the indictment claims 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 charges of extortion under color of official right, and the indictment alleges he misused his authority as Chief Deputy Sheriff to obtain money that 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 not more than 30 years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $1 million, and not more than five years of supervised release. Selling a stolen firearm carries a penalty of not more than ten years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000, and not more than three years of supervised release. Extortion under color of official right is punishable by not more than 20 years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000, and not more than three years of supervised release.
An indictment only contains allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Press Release – US Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas