LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS – Little Rock Police Officers Mark Jones and Randall Robinson were arrested Thursday after the FBI filed criminal complaint charges.
The two are accused of providing security for a drug shipment in return for thousands of dollars, all while the officers were reportedly on-duty and marked patrol units.
The two men had their initial appearance in a federal courtroom Friday (5/25).
An affidavit filed by the FBI has page upon page of recorded conversations, and the US Prosecuting Attorney said it isn’t the end of the evidence.
One of the officers charged and his attorney however are denying all the claims.
“My client denies what he is charged with having done,” said Mark Jones’ attorney, Ronald Davis Junior.
According to the affidavit a confidential source, undercover with the FBI, worked with Little Rock Police officer Mark Jones in delivery of a shipment of drugs.
Recorded conversation on the affidavit shows the two discussing plans to ship thousands of pounds of marijuana, needing the security of Jones.
The source told Jones he needed somebody to watch his back. Jones confirmed they needed him to follow them.
The affidavit said the two would meet at a Whole Foods grocery store in West Little Rock. Jones worked an off-duty security position there.
They met frequently to discuss plans of the operation, that eventually included Jones half-brother, Officer Randall Robinson.
Despite the abundance of evidence the affidavit shows, Davis claims there are two sides to every story and these documents won’t be enough.
He wants the conversations to be authenticated, and to prove the context in which the conversations took place.
“Those are all things you can’t do just from an affidavit.”
Whether the affidavit proves this or not, some folks walking the Little Rock streets with two police officers on the wrong side of a jail cell, still said they aren’t worried.
Toni Weatherford said, “There’s always a few bad apples… This is a beautiful city and probably nothing is going on here that isn’t going on everywhere else.”
Some even saw this a chance for the law to teach a lesson.
Lisa Beasley said, “Regardless of what city they need to make an example, and let the people know that police are not above the law.”
But it will take a judge and jury to find these two men guilty, something Davis doesn’t think will happen.
“I think our system usually gets it right and I think it will in this case.”
The US Attorney’s office thinks it will go their way and this affidavit is all they’ll need.
A trial is set for June 4th to decide if the officers will remain behind bars.
Depending on how this case goes, these two men could face up to forty years in jail, and possibly a fine around $5,000,000.