Man who scattered hot checks in BC, other Arkansas locations back in jail

Photo: Bryan Louis Herring

A man alleged to have scattered an estimated $74,000 in bad checks in Baxter County and a number of other Arkansas locations has been jailed.

Forty-eight-year-old Bryan Louis Herring listed a Batesville address when he was booked into the Baxter County Detention Center shortly after 4:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Herring was declared a fugitive in Baxter County Aug. 10 last year, when he failed to show up for a scheduled circuit court appearance.

In addition to Baxter County, Herring is being sought in Benton, Craighead, Independence, Izard, Sharp and Washington  counties in Arkansas and at least one other state, according to court records.

There are multiple holds on him from Sharp and Izard counties, according to the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office.

He was arrested in Florence, Alabama, located in the northwest part of the state near the border with Tennessee. He was returned to this area by a Baxter County deputy sheriff.

In Baxter County, Herring is accused of buying an outboard motor from a local dealer in late April 2018 using a $3,200 check written on a closed account at First National Bank of Izard County.

Herring was alleged to have then gone down the road into Izard County and passed another hot check on the same closed account for $3,500 to purchase a boat and motor that he later sold to another party.

In addition to using worthless checks to purchase the two outboard motors and the boat, Herring has made a number of other buys using hot checks or feigning interest in a vehicle, taking it for a test drive and never returning.

In 2017-2020, he is accused of:

— Taking a pickup truck valued at almost $41,000 from a Batesville dealership. According to the probable cause affidavit, Herring came to the dealership in a taxi on May 14 last year. He was allowed to take the vehicle for a test drive and did not return. He showed a Louisiana driver’s license for identification.

— Writing a $21,000 hot check to purchase a 2014 pickup truck in the small Benton County city of Bethel Heights. He was reported to have used a Louisiana driver’s license for identification at that location as well.

— He is alleged to have purchased a 20-foot trailer for almost $4,800 from a manufacturer in Springdale with a check that bounced.

According to electronic court records, criminal charges have been filed against Herring in a number of counties, including Baxter, Benton, Craighead, Independence and Izard.

He is listed as a fugitive in most of the counties.

Herring was also sentenced to 45 months in federal prison in 2014 stemming from a bogus boat sale in which he was allegedly trying to scam money from his “customer” — a dentist with offices in Foley, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida.

In the federal court records, Herring’s first name is spelled “Brian” instead of “Bryan,” but the birthdate is the same.

A federal grand jury in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama reviewed the evidence in the alleged boat sale scam and indicted Herring, charging him with wire fraud and aggravated identify theft

The grand jury reported Herring is alleged to have told the doctor to wire $12,500 to the suspect’s account at a bank in Foley, Alabama, as a down payment on the boat the dentist thought he was buying. Herring indicated the money would be transferred to a third party involved in the sale.

The government alleged the transfer to the unnamed “third party” never took place, and that Herring withdrew most of the money on April 25 and 26, 2013 and used the funds himself.

At some point, Herring was alleged to have used a pretext to write down the numbers of one of the doctor’s credit cards. He was accused of using the information to make a number of purchases at the Undertow Bar and Grill in Orange Beach, Alabama.

Herring is reported to have told workers at the establishment he had canceled his personal credit card, making it necessary to use the numbers he had written down on a piece of paper to pay his tabs.

The purchases made at the bar and grill during a three-day period in April 2013 totaled $500 and were all sent in by the bar and grill staff based only on the numbers scribbled on the piece of paper and approved by the issuer of the doctor’s credit card.

He is also accused of walking out of a Florida motel leaving a $1,700 bill unpaid.

He was sent back to federal prison for numerous violations of the terms and conditions of his supervised release. The violations included the crimes he is reported to have committed in Baxter County.

In April last year, a document was filed in his federal court case laying out all the violations. In addition to writing the hot checks to make purchases in Arkansas, Herring admitted he had used methamphetamine and other drugs and consumed alcohol.

He was also charged with leaving the federal judicial district in Arkansas that had control of his case without permission of the court or a probation officer. According to court records, his trips to Mountain Home, various cities in Northwest Arkansas and locations in both Florida and Indiana were all violations.

Herring has claimed he has been diagnosed as bipolar. He said he had been taking classes aimed at correcting his “thinking patterns” and taking medication to “help assure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.”

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