David Chastain, a former volunteer sheriff’s deputy with the Arkansas County Sheriff’s office, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison yesterday for extorting confidential informants to steal an ATV and firearms. Chastain, 48, resides in Stuttgart.
From a U.S. attorney release:
“Law enforcement officers and their families make sacrifices every day to protect and serve our communities. Unfortunately, when an officer is found to have abused their position, the trust and respect that law enforcement works so hard to maintain is undermined. A violation of that sacred public trust will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Hiland. “Today’s sentence is a reflection of the fundamental principle that no one is above the law, and an officer who abuses his position will be held accountable.”
A federal jury convicted Chastain in February of Hobbs Act extortion, attempted Hobbs Act extortion, and receipt of a firearm with intent to commit a felony. Testimony during the trial established that two confidential informants worked for Chastain in an effort to reduce criminal charges. In the fall of 2017, Chastain asked those informants to steal an ATV for him. One of the informants went to a duck hunting club in Clarendon and stole a Browning Edition, Polaris Ranger 900 ATV valued at just under $25,000. The informant stole the ATV in exchange for favorable treatment from Chastain concerning criminal charges, but the informant also reported the theft to the FBI. Testimony indicated that both informants were concerned Chastain would refuse to give them credit for their cooperation if they did not meet his demands.