COLUMBIA — Five people were arrested at three locations with the components of a methamphetamine lab during a three-day investigative operation by the Boone County Sheriff’s Department this week.
The effort began on Tuesday and ended Thursday, Sgt. Britt Shea of the Boone County Sheriff's Department said. No one was hurt during the investigation, which the department called “a proactive effort to gather information and investigate methamphetamine activity” in the county.
In addition to the arrests, investigators also gleaned “significant” information for future efforts to combat meth, Shea said.
“At least one half of the doors we knocked on, we got intelligence or made an arrest,” he said.
“We are constantly gathering intelligence,” Shea said. Some of that information resulted in the department’s decision to organize this week’s effort. The information came from a variety of sources, including citizens.
Although meth activity has been less of a problem in Boone County than surrounding counties and has been fairly constant in recent years, Shea said the narcotic is not difficult to find.
Meth is a problem for two main reasons, Shea said. First, it is extremely addictive.
“Severe addiction happens readily and every moment awake becomes dedicated to the drug,” Shea said.
The second reason is that making the drug can be extremely dangerous.
“Manufacturing it creates deadly gases ... and chemicals that spontaneously combust with water,” Shea said.
Components for making meth were found in the cars of two of the men arrested, police said.
Larry E. Fowler, 62, of Columbia, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance near the intersection of Business Loop 70 and Eastland Circle.
Larry A. Crider, 32, of Poplar Bluff, was arrested on suspicion of making a controlled substance and possession of anhydrous ammonia. Crider was arrested at the dead-end of Freedom Drive.
The third site was found outside where George L. Phillippe, 37, of Columbia, was arrested on suspicion creation of a controlled substance at 3402 I-70 Drive S.E. He is currently on parole for drug-related offenses. The ingredients found were still in their regular commercial containers and were disposed of safely, Shea said.
The other two people arrested were:
- Jesse N. Keeran, 33, of Boonville, on three outstanding warrants for his arrest on suspicion of probation violation, resisting arrest, and failure to register a motor vehicle
- Travis L. Murray, 36, of Columbia, on an outstanding probation violation warrant
Keeran and Murray were arrested at the same residence at 8154 Highway UU.