Registered Sex Offender Accused of Impersonating Officer

Posted on: 3:58 pm, March 23, 2013, by , updated on: 02:27pm, March 26, 2013

A Garfield man faces a felony charge of impersonating a law enforcement officer after Benton County deputies pulled his car over for a traffic violation Friday afternoon.

Eric Finnegan, 26, was booked into the Benton County Detention Center on Friday evening and has a $50,000 bond, according to the Sheriff’s Department website.

A Sheriff’s Department release said Finnegan is a registered Level 3 sex offender on active supervision. The Sheriff’s Department said Finnegan was convicted of fourth-degree sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl in January 2008.

The Sheriff’s Department said a notebook with names and ages of children was found in Finnegan’s possession.Eric Finnegan

The release said two detectives with the Special Operations Division Gang Unit pulled over a white Ford Explorer for an unspecified traffic violation at approximately 4 p.m. on the 1200 block of South 8th Street in Rogers. The release said the deputies found the vehicle equipped with operational inboard lights similar to emergency lights used by law enforcement.

The release said deputies found the front license plate had a SWAT emblem that signifies law enforcement. Finnegan, who was identified as the driver, had a Missouri-issued badge in his possession, the release said.

A background check determined Finnegan was a registered sex offender and his probation officer completed a search of his residence on the 13100 block of Rosario Road in Garfield, the release said. The officer asked for the Sheriff Office’s assistance and two computers, a cell phone and a BB gun that looked like a revolver were collected, the release said.

The electronic devices would be analyzed by the Sheriff’s Cyber Crime Unit, the release said. Finnegan also faces a charge of theft of property for the Missouri-issued badge, the release said