FORDYCE, Ark. – Federal authorities are investigating reports of an unauthorized removal of a federal inmate from an Arkansas jail.

Dallas County Sheriff Stan McGahee

The United States Marshals Service confirmed Friday that the agency has opened an investigation after accusations of a Dallas County Sheriff’s Office employee removing a federal inmate from the jail.

Three different sources tell FOX 16 News that the employee in question is Dallas County Sheriff Stan McGahee.

It is unclear how long the sheriff is accused of having the inmate out of the jail, but authorities believe the federal inmate did not leave Dallas County.

Dallas County Sheriff Stan McGahee claimed Thursday night he was unaware of the allegations, but when asked if he was involved in an unauthorized transport, McGahee said he did not feel comfortable answering the question.

The sheriff said Thursday he needed time to gather information and would provide a statement on Friday. FOX 16 News made multiple attempts to contact the sheriff, but calls and texts have not been returned.

Dallas County Judge Clark Brent said he just became aware of the allegations and it should have never of happened.

“We are deeply concerned about what has happened and we are doing all we can to get this issue resolved,” Brent said.

The county judge is an elected official, like the sheriff, so there is not much the judge can do because both positions report to the people of Dallas County.

According to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office website, the jail holds 125 inmates. The county jail’s finances rely heavily on its contract with the US Marshals to hold federal inmates.

Brent said fixing this is priority number one because the U.S. Marshals pay big bucks to house federal inmates there and their contract accounts for a large portion of the county’s budget.