Doctor Arrested, Marijuana Plants Found Inside

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The Drug Task force arrested a River Valley doctor Thursday night at a house in rural Crawford County after investigating and finding marijuana plants and drug paraphernalia inside.

Dr. Jimmy Acklin, a family practice doctor and the residency director at AHEC Fort Smith, was arrested along with two others inside his home Thursday. 

Dr. Acklin lives at 1535  Pleasant Mountain Drive in Van Buren with Jerry Thomas. Jerry and Michele Thomas were at home with the warrant was served Thursday afternoon around 4:30. Dr. Acklin arrived home during the search and was then taken into custody.

The three were arrested after police found an indoor, marijuana growing operation in the basement. Investigators also confiscated close to 20 firearms, drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine and more marijuana plants.

The search warrant was based on a two month long investigation by the 21st Drug Task Force and the Arkansas State Police. 

Dr. Acklin's bond of $7,500 was posted early Friday morning and he was released from the Crawford County jail. Both Jerry and Michele Thomas have also posted bond.

They will be arraigned once charges are filed by the Prosecutor's Office.

Dr. Acklin has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation, according to Dr. Don Heard, a director at AHEC.

"During his employment at UAMS, Dr. Acklin has been a valued member of our faculty," Dr. Heard said.

Dr. Elisa Spradlin has been appointed as the acting residency program director until further notice, Dr. Heard said.

Dr. Acklin also worked as a family physician at Sparks Health System. Sparks officials told 5NEWS that they have placed him on Administrative Suspension effective immediately. That means he can't admit or provide care to patients at Sparks until further notice.

Several River Valley agencies worked together to make the arrest including the 21st Drug Task Force, Arkansas State Police, Alma Police Department, Crawford County Sheriffs Office, Barling Police Department and the Arkansas State Parole Office. 

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