Twenty suspects were taken into custody on October 11 following a lengthy narcotics investigation in Phelps County conducted by the South-Central Drug Task Force. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says  42-year-old Johnny Smith of Tipton was among the twenty people arrested. Nearly all of the suspects are facing charges related to the possession and distribution of marijuana and synthetic marijuana.

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Captain James W. Remillard, commanding officer of Troop I announces that on October 11, 2018, a coordinated effort in Phelps County led to several narcotics-related arrests. This effort is a result of a lengthy narcotics investigation conducted by the South-Central Drug Task Force. Arrest teams assisting in these arrests consisted of troopers, officers from the Rolla Police Department, and deputies from the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department. The following individuals were arrested during this operation:

1. Rodney Washington, 57, of Rolla, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $100,000 bond
2. Mathew A. Hinds, 37, of St. Joseph, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $25,000 bond
3. Randall S. Avery, 37, of Pacific, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for two counts of delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $50,000 bond
4. Friends S. Burwell, 44, of Salem, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $50,000 bond
5. Scotty D. Gately, 42, of Edgar Springs, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for two counts of delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $250,000 bond
6. Danielle M. Griffes, 34, of Rolla, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for three counts of delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $250,000 bond
7. George Brusca, 41, of Moberly, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for two counts of distribute/deliver/manufacture/produce a controlled substance. $100,000 bond
8. Johnny Smith, 42, of Tipton, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $50,000 bond
9. Austin Strom, 26, of Edgar Springs, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $50,000 bond
10. Alexis Jillian Starostki, 21, of St. James, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $25,000 bond
11. Craig M. Dotson, 42, of Rolla, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $25,000 bond
12. Larhonda F. Zatarski, 53, of Rolla, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for distribute/deliver/manufacture/produce a controlled substance. $50,000 bond
13. David L. Meyer, 55, of Rolla, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $50,000 bond
14. Barbara Chavez, 40, of St. James, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $25,000 bond
15. Melissa L. Andrews, 31, of Rolla, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for two counts of delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $250,000 bond
16. Michael S. Baggett, 26, of Newburg, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for two counts of delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $50,000 bond
17. Randy L. Mace, 55. of Edgar Springs, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $50,000 bond
18. Julie A. Sparks, 45, of Rolla, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $50,000 bond
19. Jackie L. Benton Jr., 39, of Rolla, Missouri ¯Phelps County warrant for three counts of delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $100,000 bond
20. Donnie E. Bunton, 40, of Rolla, Missouri ¯ Phelps County warrant for delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid. $50,000 bond

The charges for which these individuals have been arrested are accusations and are not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of the charges must be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

The South-Central Drug Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional drug task force coordinated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The task force specializes in narcotics-related investigations and is composed of narcotics officers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, Rolla Police Department, Dent County Sheriff’s Department, and Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department.