NASHVILLE – A Pine Bluff man accused of being responsible for a state-wide series of break-ins, including several in the Dierks School District, plead guilty to charges stemming from some of the incidents Wednesday in Howard County Circuit Court.
James Brandon Alsup, 37, was sentenced to 14 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction on charges of commercial burglary and theft of property. A third charge of second degree criminal mischief was nolle prossed.
Court documents indicate that the local charges against Alsup stem from a series of burglaries that occurred in the early morning hours of March 21, most notably at Dierks High School, where surveillance video allegedly showed him causing damage to offices and vending machines as well as taking a small amount of cash. The affidavit of arrest attached to the suspect’s case file alleges that further surveillance, this time from a Dierks convenience store, showed the suspect purchase fuel and supplies at around 5:30 a.m. the same day while driving a flatbed truck police believe was stolen from a northeast Arkansas school.
After a number of close calls with law enforcement agencies across the state, the US Marshals Service finally apprehended Alsup in early April. According to Deputy Marshal Kevin Sanders, the Eastern Arkansas Fugitive Recovery Taskforce, headed by the Marshals Service and jointly participated in by Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Department of Correction and Arkansas Department of Community Correction, was contacted by a confidential informant with news of Alsup’s location, and tracked him to Pine Bluff, where he had been living with a woman.
The fugitive recovery taskforce was active in the case partially because of Alsup’s status as a parolee, having been released on parole from Arkansas prisons only last November after serving multiple years on theft charges. He has been in prison multiple times since 1996, according to prison records.
The taskforce reportedly found Alsup while driving, but because of Alsup’s history of leading police on chases, allowed him to continue to his destination before attempting to apprehend him. Upon arrest, Alsup allegedly led police to the flat-bed pickup reported seen in Dierks.
Sanders confirmed that Alsup faces charges in Craighead, Green and Mississippi Counties in connection with the theft of a Chevy Impala, break-ins at Green County Tech in Paragould, leading police on a brief chase while fleeing near Manila, stealing a tractor trailer in Osceola where he reportedly abandoned the stolen Impala (leaving his wallet with identification in the car) and break-ins at Buffalo Island Central Schools in Monette where he also allegedly stole the silver flatbed Ford F-350 and left the tractor trailer before coming to Dierks.
Additionally, he is the subject of multiple warrants from Jefferson County, but Sanders was unable to list the offenses Alsup may have committed while in Pine Bluff. Damage to local entities as a result of Alsup’s activities is estimated to be in excess of $7,000.