105 grams of meth found at wreck scene

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Seizure of drugs is largest in Purdy Police Department history

A Conway man was allegedly found in possession of a 105 grams of methamphetamine and arrested following a three-vehicle collision Tuesday morning on Highway 37 in Purdy.

According to a statement from Jackie Lowe, Purdy police chief, the wreck occurred when the man arrested, Lucas Baldwin, 24, of Conway, was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado southbound and failed to maintain his lane, crossing the center line and striking a 2018 Freightliner, driven by Harold Wells, 59, of Aurora. Two tires from the Freightliner became dislodged and one struck a northbound 2009 Nissan Versa, being driven by Ronald Roetto, 48, of Monett.

No one was injured in the wreck, and the Chevrolet was totaled. The Freightliner sustained extensive damage, and the Nissan sustained minor damage.

While investigating the crash, Lowe said a small nylon bag was found hidden underneath the hood of the Chevrolet

The bag allegedly contained 105 grams of methamphetamine, a digital scale and several small plastic bags used to package controlled substances. Baldwin was also found to be in possession of $2,213 in cash. Due to the large quantity of Methamphetamine involved, the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Task Force (ODET) was contacted. This was the largest seizure of methamphetamine in the history of the Purdy Police Department.

Lowe said after a records check, Baldwin was found to be on probation for felony delivery of a controlled substance. He was arrested on a 24-hour hold for second-degree drug trafficking and was transported to the Barry County jail. He has since been charged with first-degree drug trafficking, a class A felony, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Through investigation, it was determined that Baldwin was allegedly responsible for supplying methamphetamine to the Purdy area, and he was part of a wider conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine throughout Southwest Missouri.

According to a probable cause report, filed by Det. Joe Houdyshell, with ODET, Baldwin allegedly told police he had smoked methamphetamine about 30 minutes to one hour before while he was in Springfield, and that he was headed back to Conway. He said he remembered using a restroom in Aurora, but nothing else before the wreck. Baldwin said the crash was caused by him falling asleep, which he had done a week ago. He also allegedly claimed the meth was not his, as he did not remember seeing it when he recently changed his oil.

Baldwin is being held in the Barry County jail on a cash-only bond of $75,000. He has been arraigned, and a disposition hearing is set for May 7 at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke.

Several items that are believed to have been stolen property were also allegedly recovered from Baldwin’s vehicle.

“We would like to thank the Wheaton Police Department, and ODET for their assistance,” Lowe said.

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