Press Releases


Chief Deputy Ragland meets with St.Joe class

Chief Deputy Ragland,upon request, had the honor of speaking with Mrs.Hill's class of brilliant young minds at the St.Joe school today! Fun was had by all!

We have enclosed a picture of the class with Deputy Ragland below. 




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Operation Task Force Arkansas

‘Operation Task Force Arkansas’   On 9/17/18 the Searcy County Sheriff’s Department was able to take part in a monumental operation lead by the DEA that was set to take place over multiple days and involve many different departments across the state of Arkansas.   In Searcy County ‘Operation Task Force Arkansas’ took down multiple individuals for crimes ranging from Possession with the Purpose to Deliver to Possession of Paraphernalia with Purpose to Manufacture a Controlled Substance.   Our involvement in this operation was only a piece of a much bigger picture, but we were able to successfully complete our goal of dismantling or disrupting the manufacture and delivery of dangerous drugs in Searcy County.   Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement agencies in the state of Arkansas - during ‘Operation Task force Arkansas’- were able to arrest 1,260 individuals on federal and state charges and seize 211 firearms, over 37 kilograms of methamphetamine, 1,293 pounds of marijuana, 47 kilograms of cocaine, almost one kilogram of heroin, 228,913 controlled prescription pills, $357,399 in U.S. currency and 32 vehicles.   Operation Task Force Arkansas was led by the DEA Little Rock District Office and Arkansas’ 19 Drug Task Forces, who partnered with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies across the state for a combined enforcement and investigative effort. Over 200 law enforcement officers, analysts and support personnel worked together in this coordinated effort targeting the most violent and dangerous drug traffickers and drug trafficking organizations preying on our communities.  

Phone Scams




It has been brought to our attention that there are a series of different phone scams going around that have made their way to Searcy County. 

One scam noted is from people who are claiming to be representatives with the I.R.S- these people have been threatening to send local Law Enforcement to your home to arrest you if you don't pay your "Outstanding Balance" with the I.R.S. 

PLEASE know that the Internal Revenue Service of the United States of America will NEVER contact you via phone if they truly have business with you. 

If you get any sort of phone call that you suspect may be a scam please get as much information as you can and call the office of the Arkansas Attorney General at 1-800-482-8982. They have a special phone line set up to help people with phone scams. 

Another thing to remember is to NEVER give out your personal information to someone over the phone. Please don't fall victim to these scams! 


The I.R.S has a section of their website set up to help inform people of exactly how they will contact you if they needed to- they also have a section of their website set up to help you report scammers. 

If you are targeted by scammers of any kind, never hesitate to give us a call! 

Armstrong Escape

Searcy County Sheriff's Office
Joey Pruitt, Sheriff
News Release

For Immediate Release, 7/16/2018, 1200 hours
Searcy County (Marshall, Arkansas)-The Searcy County Sheriff's Office and Arkansas State Police are currently searching for a white male, Matthew Clayton Armstrong, 31, of Marshall, AR who escaped from the Searcy County Detention Center on July 14, 2018 at approximately 9:13 PM. Armstrong was being held by law enforcement authorities on charges of Murder in the First Degree.

At approximately 9:13 PM, another inmate, Jason Christian, who was being held on charges of Failure to Appear, created a disturbance within the jail, assaulting a deputy jailer, which allowed Armstrong and another inmate, Jason Brannon, held on Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, to escape from the jail. Brannon was caught hours later by the Marshall Police Department. Armstrong remains at large and is considered dangerous.

A command post has been established and a search is currently underway in Searcy and surrounding counties. The sheriff's office is currently being assisted by multiple law enforcement agencies including the Arkansas State Police, the Benton, Boone, Stone, Pope, Marion, Newton and Van Buren County Sheriff's Departments, Arkansas Community Corrections, Department of Corrections K-9 Team, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the National Park Service.

Sheriff Pruitt said in a statement Monday, July 16, 2018, "Armstrong is still considered dangerous and may be armed. We encourage everyone in the community to remain vigilant and keep their vehicles, doors and windows locked and secure." Pruitt also stated that information and leads as to Armstrong's whereabouts continue to come into the Sheriff's Office and that every lead is being assigned and followed up on by his department and the State Police."

Pruitt continued, "Armstrong may be accompanied by a white female, Mandy Watts, 43, of Marshall" and "anyone having any information or knowledge of Armstrong's or Watt's whereabouts is asked to contact the Searcy County Sheriff's Office at 870-448-2340 or dial 911. Do not approach or attempt to apprehend him and notify law enforcement immediately."

[Media Alert: The Sheriff's Office will update this information at 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM daily when new information is available. This information will be made available through the Searcy County Sheriff's website at http://searcycountysheriff.org/ or on its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Searcy-County-Sheriffs-Department-374307239636543/. Due to the nature of the ongoing operation, requests for interviews will not be considered at this time. On Tuesday, July 17, 2018, at 9:00 AM, Sheriff Pruitt will be available for on an on camera interview at the Search County Sheriff's Office in Marshall, Arkansas.]

Matthew Armstrong

Mandy Watts


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Jail Progress Update


Just a few pictures to show how much work has been done on the construction of our new Sheriff's Department Jail



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Searcy County Reserve Deputy

It is with heavy heart, Searcy County Sheriff Joey Pruitt announces the passing of Reserve Deputy Vardry "Red" McElroy. Red always had a smile for those he met and will be greatly missed by all of us at the department. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. 


Services for Red will be Sunday March 25, 2018 @ 2pm @ Roller-Coffman Funeral home in Marshall

First Degree Murder Charge

On February 27, 2018 the Searcy County Sheriff's Department received a report of a shooting incident involving 26 year old Marshall resident, Jessica Thornton, off of Integrity Road, in Searcy County. The initial call reported the incident to be a self inflicted gunshot. After arriving on scene the SCSO asked for assistance of the Arkansas State Police. During the joint investigation by the Searcy County Sheriff's Department and the Arkansas State Police, evidence was collected and numerous interviews were conducted. 
On March 1, 2018 a warrant was obtained for the arrest of 30 year old Matthew Armstrong for Murder in the first degree. Armstrong was arrested and is being held, in the Searcy County Detention Center, on a $150,000.00 bond, awaiting court appearance.





Progress is being made with the new jail, here are a few pictures

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Halloween is coming!

Every child loves Halloween! It's the perfect time to dress up as your favorite super hero or scary ghoul and gather as much candy as your little arms can carry. We would like to remind parents that while, fun and candy are the main goals, safety is also important. Below you will find some tips that will hopefully keep everyone safe this Halloween:

1. Take a photo of your children, it's not only good for blowing up Facebook feeds, its also perfect just in case an emergency arises.

2. Make sure your child's costume is safe. Is the fabric flame retardant? Does the mask they are wearing have proper opening around the eyes, mouth and nose and can they walk in it easily without tripping?

3. If you are headed out with a group make sure there is a buddy system in place, it's easy for a small child to get left behind or caught up in a mix of other children.

4. How many times have we all wished we had Little Johnny's mothers number in our phone? Please make sure if your children are trick or treating with someone else, you have an adult's number in your phone.

5. Check the candy bag! Stay away from homemade treats, unsealed/opened candy. Get rid of those immediately. 

Enjoy your Halloween and Be Safe! 

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