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Shortly after tainted ABC Enforcement Boyce Hamlet was appointed to his position, he tapped his former boss, Cody Hiland, the Prosecuting Attorney for the 20th Judicial District, for close to $12,000.00 to purchase bullet resistant vests for ABC Enforcement Agents.  Hamlet could have used the funds for more appropriate equipment or items such as tablets and software that the agents could use every day to assist them in their job performance.


Perhaps Hamlet's self-proclaimed psychological condition/learning disability (Dyscalculia) explains his lack of understanding regarding the funds that are available to the ABC.


In a previous stories (Post 1Post 2) we detailed how lacking the ABC is in modern technology.  According to sources inside the ABC, prior to Hamlet's appointment, agents were told that iPads were going to be purchased, using the Alcoholic Beverage Control Fund that would greatly improve their day-to-day work flow. Then there was a change in leadership and the agents were told to forget about the iPads. 

Instead of using public funds for useful items that could actually assist agents in the performance of their duties and the the public in turn, Hamlet thought the agents could use bullet resistant vests more than iPads.

Although ABC Enforcement Agents are certified law enforcement officers, their role is actually as a compliance officer rather than an actual police officer. These agents do not routinely knock down doors to capture suspected bootleggers, or routinely get into scuffles, dangerous situations or ever have to draw their weapon. Probably the most hazardous situation these agents are placed in is when they have to go collect funds for a returned check.

We could find only find one incident, back in February 1976, where an ABC Enforcement Officer (Billy Joe Holder) was injured or killed in connection with their position as an ABC Enforcement Agent.  The agent was killed as he sat in a chair at his home by a blast from a shotgun fired through the window.  


Robert Baysinger of Marshall, AR was charged and found guilty, but the conviction was overturned by the Arkansas Supreme Court and upon retrial he was acquitted.  No one has ever been punished for Holder's murder. 


This case has a connection to Asa Hutchinson as he was the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas at the time and successfully charged one of the suspects, Sheriff Herbert Loren Reeves (a political rival of Holder's) with possession of drugs (reefer) with intent to deliver. Reeves was convicted for the drug offense (along with one of his deputies) and spent several years in prison.

In fact, it could be argued that if bullet resistant vests were actually needed, it would be for the cooperating minors that go into stores, bars and clubs to try and purchase alcoholic beverage while the ABC enforcement agent safely waits outside sitting in his or her vehicle.

According to Brian Boykin, the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section Equitable Sharing Program Manager for the U.S. Department of Justice, the ABC as a member agency of the Equitable Sharing Program can receive funds from any other member agency to use to purchase equipment, like iPads and software, for law enforcement purposes.

Once again, tainted ABC Director Boyce Hamlet has failed to keep his promise for the ABC under his leadership to be "good stewards of the tax payer dollar".

Available funds like these could be used by the ABC to purchase iPads for agents and have software developed that could be used to avoid embarrassing situations like we reported in this story

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