The FBI recently recognized a Crawford County sheriff’s investigator for his role in a child exploitation investigation that eventually led to a federal life sentence.

Sheriff’s investigator Warren Seals was honored by FBI officials during a ceremony in Little Rock for his work “on various cases involving child exploitation and human trafficking” directly tied to the June 27 life sentence of Stanley Rice of Van Buren on two counts of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity, according to former Alma Mayor Keith Greene. Chief Deputy Jimmy Damante said Seals routinely makes both local and federal authorities happy with his work.

“He does an outstanding job,” Damante said. “He’s a good worker, he’s a good guy, he’s a good employee, he’s a good investigator.”

An eight-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, Seals primarily works sex crime cases, including those involving child exploitation. The nature of Seals’ work often puts him in contact with the FBI, Damante said.

This kind of work was exemplified through Seals’ investigation of Rice, who took a 17-year-old girl to Texas and sexually abused her multiple times, including once when she was 9. Rice also took a 15-year-old boy to Texas and sexually abused him.

“Rice’s actions in sexually assaulting minors is incorrigible and it is unimaginable how these individuals felt,” said Little Rock FBI Special Agent in Charge Diane Upchurch following the sentence. “We appreciate the dedicated assistance from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District.”

Damante said Seals’ award was “well-deserved” because his investigation made it easy for federal attorneys to prosecute.

“He worked a lot of hours, did a lot of old-fashioned leg work on it, and he got the job done,” Damante said.

Outside of his work as an investigator, Damante describes Seals as an intelligent, enjoyable member of the force. He said Seals’ sense of humor at the Sheriff’s Office is balanced well with the professionalism of his work.

Damante also said Seals has “a lot of aspirations” to be an asset to the people of western Arkansas as well as the Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.

“We’re very proud to have him here,” Damante said.