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Two from Pulaski County arrested in mass drug arrest from Phelps County
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Aug. 11, 2009) — A major drug roundup in Rolla and Phelps County spilled over into rural areas near St. Robert and Richland Friday morning, as St. Robert police and Pulaski County deputies assisted state troopers and other law enforcement agencies in rounding up more than 70 suspected drug dealers and users.

Friday’s arrest was the second of two operations in which police rounded up more than three dozen people accused of distributing or selling of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs. Beginning on July 27, members of the South Central Drug Task Force started to arrest 44 people believed to be involved in drug activity following an 18-month covert investigation by a number of different agencies including the state patrol, Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, Rolla Police Department and United States Forest Service.

Friday’s roundup began at 6 a.m. and resulted in 27 additional arrests, including Leilani A. Fuentes, 44, of Waynesville, and Nicholas J. Light, 20, of Richland, both of whom were arrested on separate Phelps County warrants for distributing, delivering, manufacturing, producing or possessing a controlled substance.

None of the other people arrested Friday were from Pulaski County. All are accused of being part of a loosely connected group of people from Phelps, Dent, Pulaski and Texas counties who were indicted by a grand jury through the work of the Phelps County Prosecutor prior to the mass arrests, and were arrested by joint teams including personnel from local sheriff’s offices from each of the affected counties.

In the Pulaski County arrests, the assigned staff member wasn’t a deputy but rather Sheriff J.B. King himself.

“The arrest team that came over here had jurisdiction because they had a state trooper with then, but basic law enforcement protocol is that if you’re going to go into another county for something of this nature, you’re going to notify the sheriff of it,” King said.

King said that’s an example of how serious staffing levels have become that he had to accompany the arrest team to avoid pulling the one remaining deputy off duty.

“Capt. (Bill) Anderson was in the Laclede County emergency room and didn’t get back until something like 3 a.m. and then he had court the next morning so he didn’t get much sleep,” King said. “I really didn’t have anybody else to send; I had only one day car to send so I sent me.”

Both arrests were uneventful but were accompanied by some jurisdictional confusion. Initial reports, later determined to be inaccurate, indicated that Fuentes’ would be found inside the St. Robert city limits so a St. Robert officer accompanied the arrest team, but she was actually living outside the city limits on Lassiter Drive. Light’s home in Richland was inside the Richland city limits, but the arrest team didn’t initially ask for King’s help because Phelps County personnel thought his home was in a part of Richland that’s just across the county line in Camden County. The location is actually in Pulaski County by only a few hundred feet.

Both arrests were conducted without incident, King said.

Others arrested included:

• Aug. 7 Phelps County warrant for distributing, delivering, manufacturing, producing, or possessing a controlled substance: Melissa Andrews, 22, of Rolla; Harold L. Connerley, 58, of Rolla (three cases); Dwight Melton, 51, Rolla; Mark A. Perkins, 28, of Rolla; Cynthia J. Talbert, 47, of Rolla; Troy A. Bowen, 17, of Rolla; David J. Sutton, 25, of Salem (two cases); Lisa M. Schlig, 34, of Rolla; Angela Colvin, 32, of Rolla; Artena Johnson, 39, of Rolla; Kathy Moon, 48, of Rolla; Michael L. Norris, 26, of Salem (four cases); Chad M. White, 27, of Rolla; Lisa M. Zanzottera, 38, of Rolla; William Bushman, 46, of Rolla; Dawn D. Jansen, 30, of Rolla; Steven A. Perry, 23, of Rolla (three cases); David M. Crabb, 22, of Rolla; Dennis S. Stanley,18, of Rolla (two cases); David C. Nash, 23, of Rolla; Jennifer K. Baker, 27, of Rolla; Susanne Medley, 32, of Salem.

• Aug. 7 Phelps County warrant for distributing, delivering, manufacturing, producing or possessing a controlled substance and for distributing, delivering, manufacturing, or producing a controlled substance near a school: Krystal G. Volner, 34, of Salem; Elizabeth R. Hunter, 40, of Salem (two cases each offense).

• Aug. 7 Phelps County warrant for distributing, delivering, manufacturing, or possessing a controlled substance near a school: Edward E. Ruegg, 45, of Rolla (two cases).

• July 17 Phelps County warrant for distributing, delivering, manufacturing, producing or possessing a controlled substance: Christopher M. Hunter, 22, St. James (two cases); Jeremy Ellis, 25, St. James (two cases); Lloyd R. Graham, 32, Rolla (two cases); Amanda Hobson, 19, St. James; Melanie Tivoli, 26, Rolla; Kathleen M. Birdsong, 54, Rolla; Dennis Toles-Robinson, 22, Rolla (two cases); Michael T. Light, 23, Rolla; Brandon J. Williams, 19, Rolla; Charles B. Frazier, 22, Newburg (two cases); Brandy L. Burton, 29, Doolittle; Lawrence F. Mathis II, 21, Edgar Springs (two cases); Joshua D. Robinson, 22, Edgar Springs (two cases); Teresa A. Ray, 52, Edgar Springs (four cases); Robert C. Bryan, 26, St. James; Joshua H. Gately, 27, St. James; Carlos A. Mitchell, 34, Rolla (two counts); Jason Kimmel, 29, Newburg (four counts); Michael J. Mehler, 34, Rolla; Mark E. Ferrell, 39, Rolla; Bobby A. Baker, 31, Rolla; Eric B. Branson, 26, Rolla; James King, 48, Rolla (two counts).

• July 17 Phelps County warrant for delivering or distribution of not more than 5 grams of marijuana: Jamie M. Rable, 19, Edgar Springs; Carlos A. Williams, 35, Rolla.

• July 17 Phelps County warrant for delivering or distribution of not more than 5 grams of marijuana and for distributing, delivering, manufacturing, producing or possessing a controlled substance: Deon L. Steward, 21, Rolla (five counts controlled substance, one count marijuana).

• July 17 Phelps County warrant for distributing, delivering, manufacturing, producing or possessing a controlled substance as a prior persistent offender: Navin T. Ellinger, 38, of Rolla; Carlos R. Harris, 34, Rolla; Benjamin R. Graham, 30, Rolla (four counts).

• July 17 Phelps County warrant for distributing, delivering, manufacturing, producing or possessing a controlled substance and delivery or manufacture of an imitation controlled substance: Rebecca Losing (Ray), 26, St. James (two counts controlled substance, one count imitation controlled substance); Bryan J. Losing, 30, St. James (four counts controlled substance, one count imitation controlled substance).

• July 17 Phelps County warrant for distributing a controlled substance near a school: Wilnosha T. Briggs, 40, Rolla (two counts).

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