Franklin County Sheriff's Officers' Search for Wanted Man Leads to Drug Arrests
Cops Raid Meth Home Again; Suspects Taken Into Custody
On Drug-Related Charges
Authorities arrested three suspects on meth-related charges at the same home where they have busted two meth labs in just over a year - this time the suspects also could face charges for endangering the welfare of an elderly man.
Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit (FCNEU) officers arrested a 55-year-old female resident of the home, a 34-year-old St. Clair man and Shannon Stephens, 25, originally of St. Clair.
The home is located on Whiskey Creek Road near Cedar Lane.
Stephens was arrested on a warrant for an ordinance violation in Jefferson County.
FCNEU Detective Sgt. Jason Grellner said authorities got word that a suspect known to make meth was staying at the ranch-style home.
Officers saw the man and Stephens inside the home through the door of the walkout basement. When they knocked on the door two suspects were seen inside.
Once the suspects realized police were at the door, they began "scrambling," Grellner said.
Narcotics officers then smelled a chemical odor through a flue in the rear of the home.
Police went into the home and found the two suspects who had allegedly dumped chemicals, paraphernalia, marijuana, and possibly methamphetamine in the toilet, clogging it.
There also were burnt "foilies" and syringes for personal use at the scene.
"Officers had to literally pick through the toilet where they dumped everything including uncapped syringes," Grellner said.
Police also arrested the woman who lived at the home who is the daughter-in-law of an 82-year-old man who was staying in the upper level of the home.
The 55-year-old suspect and the St. Clair man had not been charged at press time.
The elderly resident was transported to St. John's Mercy Hospital, Washington, and examined due to the exposure to dangerous chemicals, Grellner said.
In a vehicle owned by Stephens, officers found a 30-pound propane tank that was half full containing anhydrous ammonia, a chemical sometimes used to manufacture meth.
Authorities also contacted the Missouri Division of Aging to find suitable housing for the elderly man.
Police will seek charges against the woman living in the home for allowing the suspects to manufacture meth.
Grellner said narcotics officers had been at the same home June 10, 2010, and again on April 20, 2011, and seized a meth lab. During the June 2010 bust, officers seized meth lab components from the basement of the home where two suspects had been living.
In a wooded area nearby, officers found 10 compressed air tanks, five of them containing anhydrous ammonia, along with two stolen nurse tank hoses that investigators believe were used to steal the anhydrous ammonia from farms in northern Missouri.
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