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Detective Suspended in Police Chief Investigation for Stealing Drugs from Evidence Room

Officer Eric Willbanks

(TRUMANN, AR) – Another police officer has been suspended from an internal investigation brought about by the Mayor of Trumann.

Trumann Mayor Sheila Walters said Detective Erik Wilbanks has been suspended for two weeks without pay stemming from the Police Chief Tony Rusher investigation.

According to the documents, Wilbanks knew Police Chief Tony Rusher was taking prescription drugs meant to be destroyed from the evidence room at the police department for personal use.

Chief Rusher resigned Monday afternoon after the investigation indicated he used the prescription medication for personal use.

Officer Tony Rusher

Based on accounts from Rusher, Assistant Police Chief Gary Henry, Detective Erik Willbanks, Investigator Jerry Lindsey, Sergeant Lenny Becker and Detective Anthony Dale Parker, the report details Rusher’s personal use of medications from inactive police investigations that were meant to be destroyed, and “erratic,” “moody” behavior dating back to 2010.

Carter said Rusher told him he “did not consider pills that had been through court as evidence” and that “these pills were going to be destroyed anyway.”

Mayor Shelia Walters says, “I will turn this information over to Jimmy Gazaway. He’s the city attorney. I anticipate seeing him this afternoon, and then it will be his job to take it the proper authorities and see if any other actions need to be taken.”

Rusher said he was “hooked on Hydrocodone…”

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