On September 27, James Phillip Womack, the 31-year-old son of well-known U.S. Congressman Steve Womack, was taken into police custody in Bentonville. He is facing an overwhelming number of charges including the illegal possession of firearms, possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine or cocaine, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, the simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, unauthorized use of property to facilitate a crime, obstructing governmental operations and violating parole.
At least four of these charges are felonies. James Womack is being held at the Benton County Detention Center, and his court date has been set for November 5. Police were made aware of the suspect’s location when an anonymous tipster called into their department. According to the department, the suspect was already a person of interest and wanted by the department because he was listed as a parole absconder.
When police approached the suspect, he reportedly gave them a false name. Officers knew the suspect was lying, so this action gave them probable cause to search the suspect further. Immediately upon searching the suspect’s pockets and vehicle, police officers discovered multiple drugs and guns.
Shortly after the arrest, Representative Womack released a statement to news media outlets. He described the pain him and his family have been dealing with due to his son’s addiction to drugs. Representative Womack explained that him and his wife love their son unconditionally, but he also highlighted how his son is an adult and responsible for his own choices and actions. He described how “nothing is more devastating” than drug addiction. He explained, “It is the hardest thing I’ve ever faced.” Representative Womack will be up for re-election in 2018 against contenders Democrat Josh Mahoney, Libertarian Michael J. Kalagias and write-in candidate Jason Tate.