MH man’s criminal records grows longer

Dwayne Thompson

A Mountain Home man who entered guilty pleas to a multitude of charges contained in nine open criminal cases in late 2017,was back in Baxter County Circuit Court Thursday to plead to new charges.

Forty-five-year-old Dwayne Allen Thompson said he was guilty of a residential burglary reported on Oct. 1 last year, and possession of methamphetamine found during a traffic stop made in Mountain Home Oct. 7 last year.

He was sentenced to five years in prison.

Thompson has been a fugitive since December last year when failure-to-appear warrants were issued after he was a no show for appearances in both of his active cases.

He was apprehended and booked into the Baxter County jail in February.

According to the probable cause affidavit in the drug case, Thompson was initially pulled over for minor traffic violations.

Things got worse for Thompson when the officer found a white crystalline substance consistent with methamphetamine.

According to the county jail log, Thompson was locked up on the new burglary and drug charges about 1:15 a.m. Oct. 7 last year.

Thompson was developed as a suspect in the residential burglary case when the 62-year-old victim, told investigators he had allowed Thompson to stay with him rent-free for about five months “to help him out.”

He said Thompson had not proven to be very reliable help and he asked him to leave.

The victim said Thompson had allegedly kept a key to the residence, located along County Road 635, and a garage door opener.

The victim said that between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Sept 30 last year, someone had entered his home without using force and stolen two guns.

One of the handguns was in a nightstand drawer and the other in a side table near the victim’s recliner.

The perpetrator made an unsuccessful attempt to get into a gun safe in the victim’s house.

Thompson’s problem with the law stretch back to July 2016 when he wrote a bad check for almost $3,800 to a local business for construction materials.

Court records show he then launched a year long crime spree picking up charges for breaking into homes, a shop building, storage units and a commercial establishment in various parts of the county.

His initial crime spree came to an end in February 2017 when a Mountain Home Police Officer stopped Thompson.

During the 2017 stop, Thompson was reported to have methamphetamine in his possession, as well as a marijuana cigarette and a handgun in the passenger compartment of the vehicle.

The quantity of Thompson’s haul from the various thefts was substantial. It took five trailers to transport the items to the Baxter County Fairgrounds where they could be displayed in an effort to reunite the stolen property with its rightful owners.

In one break-in, Thompson was accused of taking an estimated $25,000 worth of tools, welding equipment and rims and tires from a shop building located along County Road 27.

The stolen items Thompson was accused of taking or at least handling, included a record collection, wall art, collectible Barbie Dolls in display packaging, a round dining table, wood carvings, musical equipment, a flat screen television set, power washer, and – oddly enough – two sets of architectural plans rendered for the Baxter County Humane Society and allegedly taken from an outbuilding located along Timberlane Road.

During his sentencing on all the 2016-2017 charges, Thompson was ordered to pay $70,000 in restitution and given a 13-year prison sentence.

At one point during the investigation into the crimes, a cooperating individual came forward and provided information regarding several thefts that had occurred in the area.

The informant also told investigators where stolen property was being stored by Thompson, and the location from which some of the items had been taken.

Thompson was eventually tied to a large number of break-ins and burglaries.

As he sat in the Baxter County jail, the investigation continued and new cases were opened when he was identified as the person who had been involved in the theft of various items.

During a court appearance on his earlier charges, Thompson said he had actually slept in a house he had broken into and robbed for a few nights, because he “had nowhere else to stay”.

Because of the sheer volume of charges involved in all of
Thompson’s various cases, it took Circuit Judge John Putman more than a half-hour to complete the lengthy plea taking process during a December 2017 court session.

The judge commented he believed it was the largest number of cases he had seen filed against one individual since he had been on the bench.

During one earlier court appearance, Thompson told the court he had been “a good father and a good worker for 25 years,” but his life began a rapid downward spiral after he encountered domestic problems.

Thompson said, “I don’t know what happened at that point. I just went off the rails.”

After all the earlier cases had been filed in Circuit Court, Thompson faced a total of 20 felony and 2 misdemeanor counts.

In addition to the criminal charges, the state seized a 1998 Ford Explorer allegedly used in some of the crimes.

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