BENTON PD: Property Theft Criminal Enterprise Ring Busted During Investigation

On 5/12/14, at approximately 12:45 PM, officers with the Benton Police Department responded to a burglary in progress on River Heights Drive. A suspect was seen in the area, but attempts to locate him at the time of the burglary were unsuccessful.

Information obtained by detectives working the case determined the suspect was in the Pulaski County area. This information was passed along to other law enforcement agencies in Central Arkansas, and based on it deputies with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office were able to locate the suspect and apprehend him.

The suspect, identified as Jason Hamilton (33 YOA) of Benton, was transported back to the Benton Police Department for follow-up investigation. Detectives were able to ascertain additional information that led them to multiple individuals who were utilizing the America's Best Inn in Benton as their basis of operations for their criminal enterprise. The suspects at the hotel were identified as Fred Lamere (56 YOA), Kristopher Hughes (29 YOA), Bridgett Bearden (33 YOA), Stephanie Bradshaw (32 YOA), and Misty Hoggard (34 YOA).

During subsequent investigation, detectives recovered four stolen vehicles, a large amount of stolen property, and numerous articles of evidence related to identity theft and forgeries. There was also a large quantity of methamphetamine, prescription medication, and ecstasy found. The suspects were using the America's Best Inn as base of operations and utilized multiple rooms to avoid detection, and also used stolen license plates and vehicles to avoid being caught.

Hamilton is charged with Residential Burglary, Commercial Burglary, 2 counts of Theft of Property, Forgery, Unauthorized Use of Another Person's Property to Facilitate a Crime, and Possession of a Controlled Substance. Kristopher Hughes is charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Simultaneous Possession of Drug and a Firearm, Possession of Methamphetamine, and also for warrants out of Saline County Sheriff’s Office. Bridgett Bearden and Stephanie Bradshaw are both charged with Theft by Receiving and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Misty Hoggard is charged with Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Fred Lamere is charged with Theft by Receiving.

This is still an on-going investigation and additional suspects and charges are anticipated as it evolves. Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to contact the Benton Police Department at 501-778-1171 or 501-315-TIPS. Individuals also may send an anonymous crime tip about this incident to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text or go to to leave a tip.

Any suspects listed are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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