A former sheriff's deputy in southeast Arkansas has pleaded guilty to charges related to a plot to plant methamphetamine on an unsuspecting person.
Robert "Bo" Sanderlin, 26, was convicted of using a communication device in commission of a drug offense and abuse of office and sentenced Monday to five years of probation, according to an order filed in Drew County Circuit Court.
A charge of solicitation of methamphetamine in an amount more than 2 grams was dropped as part of a plea agreement.
On Jan. 30, agents with the 10th Judicial Circuit Task Force initiated an investigation of Sanderlin, then a sheriff's deputy with the Drew County sheriff's office.
According to an affidavit, someone told authorities that Sanderlin had called him and told him of a plot that involved the informant planting drugs on someone so the sheriff's deputy could make a drug arrest.
The informant said he was scared because he was on probation and that the sheriff's deputy was blackmailing him with pending drug charges stemming from a vehicle accident Jan. 15.
The drug task force asked the informant to call again Jan. 31 with authorities present.
Sanderlin detailed the plan of purchasing one-eighth of an ounce of methamphetamine and framing an unsuspecting passenger of a vehicle driven by someone he had named.
On Feb. 1, another call was made to Sanderlin in which the informant, working with the drug task force, said he had purchased the drug.
The two then discussed placing the drug under a vehicle, with Sanderlin outlining where not to place the drug, documents show.
Sanderlin would then be notified of the direction of travel and would initiate a traffic stop, at which point he would arrest the passenger and take the methamphetamine, according to court documents.
Sanderlin was arrested Feb. 2.
State Desk on 06/23/2017