Court Documents Reveal Details Of Rogers Sting Operation

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ROGERS (KFSM) -- A probable cause affidavit filed with the Benton County prosecutor's office outlines the details of a "sting" operation conducted in the parking lot of Walmart in Rogers by the Benton County Sheriff's Office on April 22.

The operation led to the arrest of Jose Luis Centeno, Jr., 33, who is now facing charges of attempted capital murder, aggravated assault, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, fleeing in a vehicle and tampering with physical evidence, according to the affidavit.

Two Benton County detectives initiated the operation just after midnight after one of them received information from a source that could have Chepe, who was later identified as Centeno, meet him with about half an ounce of methamphetamine, the affidavit states.

Using a cell phone belonging to the Benton County Sheriff's Office, the source and Centeno arranged a meeting in the parking lot of the Walmart Supercenter on Pleasant Grove Road to exchange $600 for the methamphetamine, according to the affidavit.

Six members of the Benton County Sheriff's Office and a Cave Springs police officer were involved in the undercover operation. Two Benton County detectives were in an unmarked vehicle providing surveillance and the others were in their assigned Benton County Sheriff's Office or Cave Springs Police Department patrol vehicles, the affidavit states.

Just before 1 a.m., Centeno called the sheriff's office cell phone to tell the source he was in his girlfriend's car, a silver Pontiac Grand Prix, near the pharmacy, according to the affidavit.

Two Benton County deputies and the police officer blocked the Pontiac in from the back while two other deputies blocked the car in from the front. All the law enforcement officers then came out of their vehicles and ordered Centeno to show his hands, the affidavit states.

Centeno started the car and rammed the Cave Springs' officer's truck causing the officer to fall to the ground, according to the affidavit. The suspect then swerved the Pontiac toward the deputy who told him to show his hands and continued to swerve until he struck the deputy causing him to flip over the hood of the vehicle, the affidavit states.

The other deputies and police officer then fired shots at Centeno, who continued to flee from the scene and jumped the median to leave the Walmart parking lot, according to the affidavit.

The deputies providing surveillance in a different location saw Centeno flee and began to pursue him north on Pleasant Crossing Boulevard, the affidavit states. Centeno drove through a red light at Pleasant Grove Road onto 26th Street where he reached speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour, according to the affidavit. The suspect ran red lights at Perry Road and New Hope Road before losing control of the Pontiac and spinning out just north of the intersection of New Hope Road and 26th Street, the affidavit states.

Centeno then ran into a field and was pursued by deputies on foot before they caught him a short time later, according to the affidavit.

Deputies traced the route Centeno had used to flee and found a small black glasses case containing an ounce of methamphetamine packages in separate bags that the suspect had thrown out the window during the pursuit, the affidavit states.

Centeno is being held at the Benton County Jail on $100,000 surety bond and his next court date has been scheduled for June 6, jail records show.

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said Benton County Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Smith requested that ASP investigate the use of force by law enforcement officers. The investigation will then be handed over to Smith, who will determine whether the the shooting was justified.

The sting operation is one of several incidents mentioned in a memo sent to the Benton County Quorum Court April 25, in which the mayors and police chiefs of Rogers and Bentonville expressed concerns about what they considered to be reckless conduct and lack of communication from Benton County deputies.

The memo states a deputy asked Rogers police officers to stay out of the area during the sting operation. Less than 10 minutes later, the Rogers Police Department was notified of shots fired in the parking lot "placing an untold number of citizens and passersby in extreme danger" since the Walmart is open 24/7.

Keshia Guyll, spokesperson for the Benton County Sheriff's Office, said she couldn't comment on the operation since the ASP investigation is ongoing.


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