In the middle of a wet, sloppy snowstorm, Sedalia Police served a criminal search warrant at American Inn, 1217 South Limit, following a lengthy investigation by the SPD's Crime Resolution Unit that confirmed lack of compliance with an order to cease operations issues Dec. 21.

Sedalia Police Interim Chief David Woolery made the announcement on Tuesday morning at the SPD, 300 W. 3rd Street, along with Mayor Andrew Dawson.

On Monday afternoon while serving the search warrant at American Inn, detectives located evidence of criminal activity and four rooms were occupied, including one with an unregistered sex offender.

Both Chief Woolery and Mayor Dawson pointed out that a large percentage of motels in Sedalia cooperate with annual inspections, maintain strenuous cleanliness standards and work with police to prevent criminal activity.

The American Inn was considered a nuisance hotel where criminal activity allegedly took place.

In 2021, the Sedalia City Council enacted ordinances that proactively focused on improving these nuisance properties, and provided SPD and Code Enforcement with the necessary regulations to take action to correct the problems, according to a press release.

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In spite of the Dec. 21 order to cease operations at American Inn, it was discovered on Dec. 26 that the owners (husband and wife) continued to rent rooms to tenants in secret.

Police are requesting charges on the wife, 45-year-old Mayuriben B. Patel of Sedalia, including 15 counts of non-compliance with local codes (RSMO 315.0333), 15 counts of violation of licensing provisions (RSMO 315.-45) and eight counts of no business license (Sedalia Municipal Ordinance 12-57).

In addition, 61-year-old Leroy E. Leffler of Sedalia, faces a charge of failure to register as a sex offender in Pettis County.

According to Casenet, Leffler was convicted of sexual abuse in the first degree in 1995 in Buchannon County.

All tenants were removed from the property, Chief Woolery said.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

As a result, American Inn is shut down until further notice.

Woolery also noted that American Inn failed to pay its Missouri sales tax.

American Inn search warrant

Gallery Credit: Randy Kirby

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