Former Nestle employee accused of stealing metal

JONESBORO — A former Nestle employee accused Thursday of stealing $93,000 worth of equipment was released from jail on a $5,000 bond.

Nestle reported a crate of 100 10-pound “metal heat shields” stolen on July 13. Police discovered video footage and still photos of Robert Jones, 41, of Jonesboro, transporting the crate to his pickup truck with a forklift and hauling the equipment away on July 5, according to the probable affidavit.

“Other employees note that when he left work that day that the items which were supposed to empty wood pieces … contained a substantial amount of weight making his truck set lower than it should,” it read. “He was asked to bring the wood pieces back and when he returns later with the wood in the back his truck (was) now very noticeably lighter.”

The Jonesboro Police Department found in its investigation that Jones was selling the heat shields at scrap yards since 2015 while he worked at Nestle.

Jones was arrested and released from jail Thursday. District Court Judge Tommy Fowler found probable cause Friday to charge Jones with theft of property valued at $25,000 or more.

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Fowler also found probable cause for charges Friday and set bond for the following:

Larry Bryant, 32, of Jonesboro, first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor, first-degree terroristic threatening, third-degree domestic battering, resisting arrest; bond set at $50,000, cash or surety.

Derrick Ferguson, 39, of Jonesboro, possession of a firearm by a felon, felony failure to appear; $35,000 cash or surety and $50,000 cash-only bonds set.

Meghanas Gatling, 40, of Jonesboro, possession of a firearm by a felon, two counts of tampering with physical evidence, felony and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana less than 4 ounces, two counts of misdemeanor failure to appear; bond set at $75,000, cash or surety.

Christopher Gravesen, 31, of Batesville, possession of meth less than 2 grams, possession of marijuana less than 4 ounces; bond set at $10,000, cash or surety.

Dylan Miller, 26, of Jonesboro, possession of a firearm by a felon, felony and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia; bond set at $75,000, cash or surety.

Jessica Moore, 39, of Jonesboro, possession of meth less than 2 grams; bond set at $7,500, cash or surety.

Jeffrey Nix, 26, of Jonesboro, possession of meth or cocaine less than 2 grams, possession of Schedule I or Schedule II drug less than 2 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana less than 4 ounces; bond set at $10,000, cash or surety.

Zachary Oakes, 25, of Jonesboro, felony and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia; bond set at $4,500, cash or surety.

Aaron Parker, 38, of Jonesboro, possession of meth more than 10 grams but less than 200 grams with the purpose to deliver, possession of oxycodone with the purpose to deliver, possession of hydrocodone, possession of morphine sulfate less than 2 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana less than 4 ounces; bond set at $45,000, cash or surety.

Garlin Pittman, 58, of Black Rock, possession of meth less than 2 grams; bond set at $2,500, cash or surety.

Sara Pretty, 30, of Jonesboro, felony and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia; bond set at $4,500, cash or surety.

Christopher Pyle, 45, of Jonesboro, possession of meth more than 2 grams but less than 10 with the purpose to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana greater than 4 ounces; bond set at $10,000, cash or surety.

Harold Sims, 50, of Harrisburg, use or possession of paraphernalia to manufacture meth, possession of meth less than 2 grams, possession with intent to manufacture; bond set at $7,500, cash or surety.

Fatality reported in Jonesboro crash

JONESBORO — A woman died Wednesday night in a single-vehicle accident near the intersection of North Church Street and Center Street, according to Arkansas State Police.

Latoya Vanderbilt, 30, of Jonesboro, was driving northbound on North Church Street when she ran off the road, striking two trees. Vanderbilt’s 1997 Pontiac Grand Am then went through a row of bushes, hit another tree and flipped over.

The Jonesboro Police Department reported Wednesday that the victim was entrapped in the vehicle and traffic lanes were shut down intermittently in the area.

Weather conditions were clear and roads were dry during the accident.

Other reports:

5100 block of Krueger Drive, breaking or entering a gray 2016 Dodge Dart, theft of a firearm valued at less than $2,500.

2400 block of East Highland Drive, theft of property valued at $25,000 or more.

5900 block of Rees Road, breaking or entering a silver 2006 Chevrolet Silverado, theft of a firearm valued less than $2,500, theft of credit/debit cards, theft of property valued at $1,000 or less from a vehicle.

100 block of West Forrest Street, breaking or entering a building or structure, first-degree criminal mischief.

Main Stop Exxon, 215 W. Huntington Ave., theft of property lost, mislaid or delivered by mistake.

Kum & Go, 3105 S. Stadium Blvd., theft of a black 2019 Kia Optima.

400 block of Calion Street, residential burglary, aggravated assault on a family or household member, theft of property valued at $5,000 or less but more than $1,000.

5300 block of Maple Valley Drive, fraudulent use of a credit card, theft of property valued at more than $5,000 but less than $25,000.

1300 block of Aggie Road, breaking or entering a building or structure, theft of property valued at $1,000 or less from a building.

500 block of North Caraway Road, theft of a green 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis.

3700 block of Landsbrook Drive, breaking or entering a building or structure, theft of property valued at $1,000 or less from a building.

Cavenaugh Kia, 3315 S. Stadium Blvd., breaking or entering six vehicles, theft of property valued at $1,000 or less from a vehicle.

2 men sentenced to federal prison

LITTLE ROCK — Two Northeast Arkansans were sentenced this week to federal imprisonment, Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas announced.

Karlen Ingram, 38, of West Memphis, was sentenced Wednesday to 250 months, followed by five years of supervised release, for his involvement in a meth conspiracy.

As part of Operation Money Don’t Sleep, which targets drug trafficking in West Memphis and surrounding areas, federal agents learned Ingram was a supplier of cocaine and crack cocaine for numerous individuals, and later dealing in meth.

The investigation revealed that Ingram and his co-conspirators used the U.S. Postal Service to ship illegal narcotics, which continued through January 2017.

Josue Duane Garza, 42, of Wynne, was sentenced Thursday for his role in smuggling tobacco and cellular telephones into the Federal Correctional Complex in Forrest City where he worked as a guard.

In June 2018, two inmates informed prison officials that his family had been purchasing tobacco and cell phones and mailing them, along with cash, to Garza at a P.O. box in Colt.

The parents received money orders and cash from other inmates’ families, who were paying for the inmates’ purchases. The inmates said they split the proceeds with Garza. In an interview, Garza admitted that he had conducted the scheme from October 2017 through July 2018 and received more than $40,000.

Garza will serve 12 months and one day in federal prison. In addition to the prison term, Garza was sentenced to one year of supervised release following his imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system.