The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld the conviction of Charles David Chastain, a retired State Police special agent and former auxiliary deputy in Arkansas County, for pressuring a confidential informant to steal an ATV and obtain firearms he thought were stolen but were actually part of an FBI sting.

Chastain was sentenced to 30 months in prison in 2019.


Chastain, who worked on narcotics cases as an auxiliary deputy, was arrested in 2017.

Chastain challenged the sufficiency of the evidence, in part because the guns weren’t actually stolen. He also said Judge Leon Holmes should have recused from sentencing because he disclosed that he’d received text messages from his brother asking about the progress of Chastain’s case. He asked the parties if they objected to his participation and none did. The 8th Circuit turned back all of Chastain’s claims.


Here’s the opinion.