Meth lab leads to high speed pursuit

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Barry County man was apprehended at gunpoint last Tuesday night after he led area law enforcement officers on a high speed chase in the Monett area.

Jason Ponder, 32, of McDowell, was taken into custody along with his wife, Rita Ponder, 30, who was a passenger in his vehicle. The two face drug charges and first degree assault charges and are being held in the Barry County Jail.

According to the Barry County Sheriff's Department, Jason Ponder attempted to run over three different patrol units during the chase. He is also accused of throwing the makings of a mobile meth lab out of his vehicle while attempting to elude law enforcement officers.

The pursuit began after Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force agents recovered a meth lab outside the Ponders' home. The Ponders were not home when the meth lab was recovered so Task Force agents began a search for Jason Ponder's vehicle.

The vehicle was eventually located near Monett where agents attempted to make a traffic stop. Instead of stopping, Ponder led the officers on a high speed chase through the northwest part of Barry County.

Ponder finally brought his vehicle to a stop, and Barry County Sheriff's Deputy Donnie Sheets arrested him at gun point.

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