Centerton firefighter arrested, fired after being accused of stealing morphine from department

CENTERTON, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Centerton firefighter was arrested after being accused of stealing morphine from the department, according to court documents.

Michael Brown, 31, was arrested on Feb. 16 on forgery and drug fraud charges, according to his booking.

Michael Brown, 31 (Courtesy: Benton County Jail)
Michael Brown, 31 (Courtesy: Benton County Jail)

Centerton Fire Chief Matt Thompson confirmed to KNWA/FOX24 on Thursday that Brown was fired on the same day.

Thompson contacted the police department about narcotics missing from an ambulance on Feb. 16, according to an affidavit.

He said while he was doing counts of the controlled substances in an ambulance, he noted a vial of 10 milligrams of morphine was unaccounted for and missing.

Autopsy results could mean more charges for Fayetteville man

Thompson discovered that Brown, a paramedic/firefighter, was the last person to log into the safe lock boxes where narcotics are stored, the document said. The time stamps on the access logs showed Brown opened the lock boxes just before he left work early.

Centerton Police and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office went to Brown’s home in Springdale to speak with him. According to the affidavit, Brown claimed he had given a patient two milligrams of morphine after a motor vehicle collision but allowed her to sign a refusal. He told police he didn’t document the incident because he thought he would get in trouble.

The detective told Brown he was going to speak with the patient to confirm the story and Brown then said he hadn’t given her the medication. Brown said he had pulled up the drug anticipating he would give it but discarded it.

But then Brown told the detective he had signed the logs that morning after replacing the missing drugs.

According to the affidavit, the detective asked Brown if he had a problem and Brown admitted he did. Brown then told the detective he had gone to the emergency room for abdominal issues and used the missing morphine.

Brown was arrested and taken to the Benton County Jail. He was released on a $10,000 bond on Feb. 18 and has a court date set for March 25.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KNWA FOX24.