PARKIN, Ark. — A Parkin police officer is accused of driving inmates to a convenience store to buy cigarettes and beer.
Last week, police officer Darrell Crowder, 49, went to the Cross County Detention Center to pick up two inmates for court.
Cross County Sheriff David West said instead of taking them to the jail once court was over, Crowder took them to a house where one of the inmates got some cash.
Then, he said Crowder drove the inmates to a Parkin gas station and let them go inside in their handcuffs and jailhouse orange to buy the alcohol and cigarettes.
“We’ve got video footage of one of the inmates. Well, they were both there,” said Sheriff West. “You can only see one in the video as well as the officer in there, and he’s holding the 40-ounce beer, and he goes to the counter and pays, and they walk out and get in the car.”
He said once they got back to the police cruiser, they waited for a friend to bring them more cigarettes and chewing tobacco to take back to the jail.
“On the way back, they drank the beer, and the officer had them throw the beer cans out the window,” West said.
Sheriff West said while he is disappointed in the officer, it could have been worse.
“He could have easily gotten a weapon or some drugs you know or gotten away,” he said.
West said they discovered the tobacco products on the inmates during a routine search and the inmates told them where they got the items.
“Once they knew what kind of trouble they were in, they cooperated because it’s a felony to bring something in the jail,” West said.
Crowder is now facing felony charges of furnishing prohibited articles and impairing operations of a vital public facility.
Sheriff West said they are trying to get Crowder decertified, so he can never work as a police officer in the state again.
He said as part of the conditions of his bond, Crowder cannot carry a gun or weapon.