A Williford man is no longer spending his time on an island on the Spring River. Instead, he is spending his days and nights in the Sharp County Jail.
James Ray Haney, 53, of Williford was arrested May 30. He is charged with manufacture of a controlled substance, a class Y felony; possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, a class Y felony; use or possession with the intent to use drug paraphernalia, a class C felony; and felon in possession of a firearm, a class B felony.
According to an affidavit filed by Drug Task Force Investigator Rickey Crook, Sharp County Sheriff Dale Weaver learned from an informant on May 29 that Haney was staying on an island on the river. The informant told Weaver that Haney had recently "cooked" methamphetamine at the site, the affidavit said.
When Weaver went to the location, which is accessed from Spring River Ranch Road, off of Highway 58 near Williford, he noticed a Chevrolet S-10 parked next to a railroad crossing, the affidavit said.
The next day, Crook and fellow Drug Task Force Investigator David Edington and Crook approached the island by boat while other law enforcement officers traveled by vehicle in hopes of searching the property.
As Crook and Edington approached the island, Crook saw Haney leave the island by canoe and cross the river to the site of the pickup, the affidavit said. As the officers continued on they saw additional people and another vehicle near the S-10. They then asked other officers to move in, the affidavit said.
"As the other officer approached the suspects I witnessed Jimmy Haney pull something black from his shorts, drop it on the ground and kick it under a car he was standing beside," Crook wrote.
When Crook got on land, he searched the ground and recovered a loaded semi-automatic .22-caliber pistol just under the car Haney had been standing near, the affidavit said.
Other officers on scene searched Haney.
"When Haney was searched he was found to have a small black bag which contained several rounds of .22 caliber ammunition," Crook wrote.
Crook, Sharp County Chief Deputy David Huffmaster and Detective Mark Counts then went across the river and searched the island. There they found three-tenths of a gram of methamphetamine, several funnels, an empty gallon metal can of Coleman Fuel, a partial bottle of hydrogen peroxide, a partial quart metal can of acetone, an air purifying respirator, chemical resistant gloves, a small black case containing syringes, a water cooler three-fourths full of small granular material thought to be lye and many other items, the affidavit said.
All of the evidence was seized and the chemicals have been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for analysis.
Because Haney has been previously convicted of felony drug charges, if he is convicted again he could face twice the prison term and/or twice the fine that would be assessed to individuals convicted of the charges for the first time.
Haney remains in jail in lieu of a $30,000 bond.