Two Arrested After Warrant Yields Evidence of Catalytic Converter Theft and Drug Possession

JONESBORO, Ark. — Two suspects were apprehended this week by the Street Crimes Unit of the Jonesboro Police Department (JPD) with authorities finding evidence of catalytic converter thefts in the residence.

The incident took place between 2:40 PM and 5:42 PM on July 11 at 901 French Street in Jonesboro. Acting on a search warrant, the Street Crimes Unit discovered significant evidence, a police report said. Among the items recovered were a backpack containing saws, blades, and other tools. Additionally, an unmarked catalytic converter that had been cut from a vehicle was also found at the scene.

During the search, authorities also uncovered drug-related items, including meth bongs, multiple meth pipes, a plastic bag and container containing methamphetamine, digital scales with meth residue, and various other drug paraphernalia.

The suspects, identified as 38-year-old Christopher Michael Nearn and 66-year-old Ricky Dale Painter, both residents of Jonesboro, were taken into custody. They are both facing several charges including felony and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Jail records show Nearn is also being charged with felony theft of a catalytic converter/unlawful possession of a catalytic converter. He remains incarcerated as of this publication on a bond of $25,000.

The theft of catalytic converters carries severe penalties under Arkansas law. Classified as a Class C felony, offenders can face imprisonment ranging from three to ten years, as outlined in the Arkansas criminal code. In addition, defendants may be subject to fines of up to $10,000.

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