The Lawrence County District Judge on Jan. 12 found a possible cause for accusing former Hoxsey Police Chief Glen Junior Smith of stealing property/firearms worth less than $2,500.
Third Circuit Judge Rob Ratton released Smith on bail on the charges.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Smith told investigators during questioning on August 25, 2022 that he purchased a tactical semi-automatic shotgun for police department use at a Highway 67 Guns and Gold pawnshop.
In the spring of 2021, witness James Ditto of Barnhill Glass and Collision in Hoxie told investigators that Smith contacted him about purchasing a shotgun for the department. The same thing was told to Smith that Michael Skeet owned a pawnshop in Pocahontas. Ditto said that Smith bought the pistol for $600 and that Skeet requested documentation from the town of Hoxsey with his letterhead.
Ditto said that on August 2, 2022, he was shopping at Russell’s Pawn in Walnut Ridge and saw the same gun for sale on a gun rack in the store.
According to the affidavit, Ditto recognized the gun from the markings on the magazine tube clip. He called Hoxsey Mayor Dennis Coggins and said the shotgun the city bought was in the pawnshop. Ditto said Coggins called him a liar, the affidavit says.
Coggins also said he contacted Hoxsey City Attorney Nancy Hall, some members of the Hoxsey City Council, and Lt. Brant Tosh of the Arkansas State Police.
Ditto said Hall told him that the day he saw Russell’s shotgun, Coggins went to the pawnshop and gave $600 for the shotgun, and then Smith came and took it the same day, the affidavit says.
ASP Special Agent David Moss said he interviewed Coggins at Hoxsey City Hall on August 25, 2022. Coggins told him that Smith wanted to buy a shotgun to use for round sack shooting.
Moss’s affidavit states that Coggins said when Ditto told him Russell had the gun in August 2022, he went to a pawnshop and bought the gun for $600. Coggins stated to Smith that the gun belonged to the city and that the shotgun was never listed in the city’s inventory.
Coggins said Smith told him he “was under the influence” when he sold the shotgun to Russell, according to an affidavit.
On November 2, 2022, Moss interviewed Smith. “On or about June 16, 2021, the city of Hoxsey paid $800 for a Remington 12 gauge 1100 tactical shotgun with serial number R296968V from Mike Skeat. On September 29, 2021, I pawned a $300 shotgun at Russell’s pawn shop in Walnut Ridge,” Smith wrote. “August 2, 2022 Hoxie Mayor Dennis Coggins paid $600 for a shotgun at Russell. The next day, I returned the money to him, went to get the shotgun, and took it to the Hoxsey police station. I pawned the shotgun because I needed money for my cell phone bill. I had intentions of picking up the shotgun from the pawnshop, but I couldn’t find the money to get it out of the bail. I knew the shotgun belonged to the city of Hoxsey, and I knew it wasn’t mine.”
After returning from administrative leave on August 22, Smith submitted his resignation effective September 13, 2022.
Smith is charged with a Class D felony, punishable by up to six years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
Smith’s next trial date is set for March 27 in Lawrence County Circuit Court.