February 10, 2005

Sheriff’s Department Busts Meth Lab Near Arbela

A tip from a concerned neighbor led to one of the largest methamphetamine arrests in Scotland County history.

An Arbela woman and two Iowa men remain in custody on $100,000 cash only bonds after a February 2nd raid at a rural Arbela residence discovered an active meth laboratory.

An off-duty sheriff’s deputy responded to the property after a neighboring landowner reported suspicious activity at an uninhabited residence. The neighbor reported the activity and noted a strange odor coming from the home.

Chief Deputy Bill Holland met the concerned citizen at the building at approximately 10:00 p.m. that evening. Upon entering the house, Holland located numerous precursors used in manufacturing the illegal narcotic as well as a large quantity of finished meth.

Initially the residence appeared to be unoccupied but after others performed a more extensive search two suspects were located. The first was found hiding in a closet.

The second defendant had armed himself with a knife and was found hiding in the cellar.

Arrested were Craig L. Rockenbach, 24 and Millard C. Deck, 27, both of Keokuk, IA.

A third suspect was arrested following a traffic stop near the residence. Deputy Shad Rockhold was responding to the scene when he passed a vehicle that had previously been spotted at the scene by witnesses. He initiated a stop on the car.

Teri J. Trueblood, 20, of Arbela was arrested following the traffic stop. According to officers, she had ties to the property being used for the lab.

Trueblood was transported by Memphis Police officers to the Clark County Jail. The two men are being housed in the Scotland County Jail. The North Missouri Drug Task Force also assisted the sheriff’s department at the crime scene. Task force officials aided in disposal of the lab remnants, which posed health and safety issues.

All three defendants are facing Class B felony charges of manufacturing a controlled substance. A class B felony is subject to a prison term of 5 to 15 years.

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