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Sheriff Scott Finkbeiner of Hot Spring County, Arkansas, has been relieved of his duties



Hot Spring County Sheriff Derek Scott Finkbeiner of Arkansas has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges including obstruction of justice and concealing a crime, according to FBI and court documents. The indictment followed Finkbeiner’s Nov. 2 arrest by the FBI, and the sheriff has been stripped of his duties. His alleged involvement in a drug cover-up became clear when a local narcotics enforcement unit used a confidential informant to uncover how Finkbeiner, mid-April through late-May, attempted to pay the informant to perform sexual acts, mislead federal investigators, and used methamphetamines.

A 16-page affidavit filed on Oct. 30 and obtained by USA TODAY detailed how the sheriff arrived at a drug dealer’s home in his police vehicle, removed his badge and firearm, smoked meth from a pipe, and propositioned the confidential informant for sex. Finkbeiner was also accused of revealing that the drug dealer was a confidential informant of the Hot Spring County Sheriff’s office to the dealer and accepting meth from him.

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Online court records show Finkbeiner pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released after posting a $5,000 bond. However, he has been stripped of his law enforcement duties and his only remaining authority was to conduct payroll. The sheriff has maintained his innocence and posted on the sheriff’s office Facebook account saying, “I DID NOT OBSTRUCT JUSTICE in any way!”

Finkbeiner is set to appear back in court on Jan. 22 for a jury trial. USA TODAY reached out to the sheriff’s office for additional comment but has received no response.

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