Police & Courts

Five charged in Monroe City drug raid

Five suspects were arrested as a result of a late night drug raid at a Monroe City residence on Monday, Feb. 17. First row, from left: Charles Talley Jr., Randall Warren, and Jessica Harms. Second row, from left: Melissa Dowell and Michael Vaupel.
By Hannibal Courier-Post
Posted: Feb. 20, 2020 11:52 am Updated: Feb. 20, 2020 2:14 pm

MONROE CITY, Mo. | Four people are under arrest, facing felony drug charges and a fifth is being sought after a late night raid in Monroe City on Monday.

Police Chief Tyler Wheeler said that Monroe City Police were joined by officers from the Northeast Missouri Drug Task Force. Wheeler said “a substantial amount of crystal methamphetamine was found along with scales and packaging for distribution, narcotic pills and numerous paraphernalia items.”

Wheeler said the search warrant for a residence in a mobile home was the result of a lengthy narcotics investigation and use of a police dog in the evening.

Based on a probable cause statement from Monroe City Police, Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Talley Smith charged five people with felonies. Charged with possession of a controlled substance are: Charles Talley, 36, who is on parole, Randall Warren, 45; and Jessica Harms, 36, who is on parole.

The three appeared before Monroe County District Court Judge Michael Wilson on Tuesday, who set each of their cash-only bonds at $25,000.

In addition, Melissa Dowell, 36, was charged by Kendrick with distribution of a controlled substance. Wilson set her bond at $50,000 cash-only.

Smith charged a fifth person, Michael Vaupel, 30, with possession. Police are searching for Vaupel, who is on parole to execute an arrest warrant.

Monroe City Police said they stopped Dowell on Monday as she was trying to elude officers.

"During contact with Dowell, officers found her to be extremely nervous and carrying two bags. When speaking to Dowell about her actions and nervous behavior she told law enforcement her vehicle had broken down and she was walking to a friend's,” police said in their report. “When officers inquired about the contents inside of Dowell's bags, she stated we could not search her property without a warrant, and she and her bags were separated.”

Officers then said they called for a canine search by the department's dog, Raven.

“Raven indicated the presence of a controlled substances on one of two bags inside the bag, law enforcement found Dowell in possession of what looked to be residue of methamphetamine,” police said in their report.

After a search of her car and the seizure of alleged illegal drugs, Monroe City Police arrested Dowell.

“Dowell was then interviewed after being advised of her Miranda Rights and she stated the remainder of the methamphetamine she had before law enforcement had contacted her, was given to Charles Talley Jr.,” the police report said. “Dowell also advised an agent from the Northeast Missouri Narcotics Task Force, she had been distributing methamphetamine locally within the City of Monroe City, Missouri, since approximately April 2019.”

Later that night, law enforcement raided the mobile home.




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