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A former Lonoke police chief's wife who has served time on drug, burglary and theft convictions is in custody again, the Lonoke County sheriff's office said Tuesday.

Kelly Harrison Campbell, 49, was arrested about 7 p.m. Monday in Austin on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, Lonoke County sheriff's office spokesman Lt. Jim Kulesa said in a statement. Her court date is set for Friday.

Campbell was convicted in 2007 after a high-profile 2007 trial in which she and her husband, former Lonoke Police Chief Jay Campbell were accused of running a criminal organization seeking drugs, sex and money.

Jay Campbell was found guilty of leading a criminal gang that dealt drugs, ransacked private homes to steal prescription medicines and engaged in sex with inmates while he was the top lawman in Lonoke. The Arkansas Supreme Court in November 2009 tossed out his conviction, and he was sentenced in February 2010 to 15 years in prison after pleading no contest to four felonies.

Kelly Campbell was acquitted of the core corruption charges, but a Lonoke County jury convicted her on 26 charges involving drugs, burglary, theft and more. She was also convicted of having sex with inmates at the city jail. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison and was released on parole three years ago.

A list of the verdicts against the Campbells can be found here.

Photo by Lonoke County sheriff's office
Kelly Harrison Campbell.

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  • RBBrittain
    January 28, 2014 at 1:52 p.m.

    First, it's sad that she got a LONGER sentence than her husband the mastermind. Second, *NONE* of the charges against the Campbells actually involved sex with inmates, no matter how much the ADG keeps bringing that up (though the sex was probably evidence for some of the charges).
    Finally, perhaps this and the ribeye theft should suggest we do NOT do enough to help ex-cons AVOID going back to a life of crime??? Sending folks back to prison just because they can't buy a real job only fills prison cells that SHOULD be filled by REAL criminals...

  • Firefighter
    January 28, 2014 at 8:52 p.m.

    Sentenced to 20 years in 2007, paroled in 2010 after 3(?) years. What's wrong with this picture?

  • LittleLamb
    January 28, 2014 at 10:08 p.m.

    Here's a clue - she was a REAL criminal. She only served 3 years of her sentence and that was not long enough to deter her from going back to her old ways. Shame on the parole board.

  • Populist
    January 29, 2014 at 7:28 a.m.


    The ADG keeps bringing it up because sex sells papers. It also would make a great made for tv movie. People always love it when the villains are local law enforcement.