Third Person Arrested In Large Stolen Guns Bust

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WASHINGTON COUNTY (KFSM) - A third suspect has been arrested in a stolen guns case after nearly a week of investigating, deputies say.

Thomas Lightfoot, 29, of Fayetteville was captured by the Washington County Sheriff's Office on Thursday morning (Oct. 9) at the Value Place motel on Old Farmington Road in Fayetteville. This came after a traffic stop on Friday (Oct. 3) by the Benton County Sheriff's Office which revealed 33 stolen guns, $300 worth of gold coins and the arrest of the first two suspects in the case, according to authorities.

John Stanton, of Springdale, was arrested during that traffic stop on suspicion of burglary, authorities say. Investigators said after receiving more information, deputies also arrested Ricky Lovesee, of Madison County,  on suspicion of burglary. They were later booked into the Washington County Jail.

"The stolen guns came back stolen out of Washington County, so detectives then contacted the Washington County Sheriff's Office and got in touch with a detective that is working a very large scale residential burglary from Washington County and put two and two together," Benton County Deputy Keshia Guyll said.

Guyll said once the two cases were connected, a total of 84 guns were recovered, with the majority being rifles. She said Stanton claimed he legally owned all of the guns in the vehicle.

"He was the one that was very adamant that he bought them and he was just taking then from one house to another house," Guyll said.

Lightfoot was originally sought by authorities after Stanton and Lovesee were arrested, and he is being held on a parole violation, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia, the jail's intake report states.

Records show all three of the men have criminal histories. Stanton was arrested in July of 2014 on suspicion of selling methamphetamine. Lovesee was arrested and convicted of third degree battery in 2003, and Lightfoot was arrested in a residential burglary case in 2008 and sentenced to 11 years in prison.

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