Authorities south of Kansas City say they discovered a "a complete clandestine methamphetamine lab" and over the course of three weeks arrested and charged four people.
The arrests were a joint effort by the Bates County Sheriff's Office; Community Narcotics Enforcement Team Drug Task Force; Harrisonville Police Department; Cass County Sheriff's Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Jackson County Drug Task Force.
The Bates County Sheriff's Office detailed the arrests in a statement released Friday:
On June 11, Bates County detectives stopped a vehicle on old U.S. 71 and County Road 11002. Several items "commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine" were found in the vehicle. The driver, Lyle Jennings of rural Butler, and the passenger, Ashley Burrous of Johnstown, were taken into custody. Burrous already had warrants for her arrest in another city.
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Following the traffic stop, authorities contacted Jennings' wife, searched the couple's home and found the meth lab in the garage. Drug Task Force agents dismantled the lab. They also found chemicals and glassware, a small amount of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
By June 12, Jennings was charged with possession of precursors to manufacture methamphetamine. He was released from custody after posting bond.
But less than two weeks later, the sheriff's office said, Jennings was arrested again when he was allegedly caught on video June 25 at someone's home in Butler with a crow bar, a mask and an identifiable tattoo on his forearm. The sheriff's office said someone had earlier broken into the home and tried to "secure the residence as if they would be returning."
A sergeant with the sheriff's office stopped Jennings in traffic on June 26 at Missouri KK and Missouri 52. The sergeant identified the tattoo on his arm and placed him into custody. A search of Jennings' vehicle turned up a mask, crow bar, a bag of methamphetamine and a "homemade shotgun" with ammunition, the sheriff's office said.
Jennings was charged with possession of burglary tools, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, and his bail was set at $25,000, cash only. The sheriff's office said he remains in jail.
Other people allegedly connected to Jennings have since been arrested.
On June 30, authorities from multiple agencies conducted a traffic stop in Adrian and arrested two alleged co-conspirators: as Kyle P. Calhoun of Harrisonville and Christopher C. Zumwalt of Cleveland, Mo. The sheriff's office said the vehicle they were riding in was stolen. Authorities said they found 27 grams of methamphetamine on Zumwalt, and at the jail, they found 41 grams of methamphetamine packaged in Calhoun's underwear.
On July 1, authorities searched a Kansas City hotel room where Calhoun had been staying, and found a pistol, a modified shotgun and more methamphetamine, according to the sheriff's office.
Calhoun was charged with trafficking drugs, and his bail was set at $150,000, cash only. He remains in the Bates County jail.
Zumwalt was released, but later charged with trafficking drugs. His bail was set at $25,000.
The sheriff's office said more arrests are expected as a result of individual and joint investigations.