A federal appeals court panel has upheld a lower court ruling that federal agents acted lawfully during a search and seizure at a Little Rock water bottling facility.
The three-judge panel from the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in the opinion released Thursday that FBI and IRS agents acted reasonably when they detained employees of Mountain Pure Water in Little Rock for several hours during a search of the facility in 2012.
The employees claimed the agents used excessive force and improperly detained them for several hours.
Company owner John B. Stacks was convicted in 2014 on fraud and other charges after he obtained a Small Business Administration disaster recovery loan to replace equipment he claimed had been damaged in a tornado. Authorities said there was no damage.