May 26, 2011

Traffic Stop Leads to Manhunt, Meth Lab Seizure

At approximately 2:15 p.m., on May 19, 2011, a Missouri state trooper attempted to stop a 1995 Ford Ranger, which was travelling westbound on U.S. Highway 136 in Clark County, for a traffic violation. The driver of the vehicle refused to stop and a pursuit ensued. During the pursuit a passenger, Timothy W. Wrieden, 27, of Keokuk, Iowa, jumped from the pickup truck on Missouri Highway 81 south of Kahoka, Missouri, and was taken into custody.

At one point the chase turned toward Scotland County, and officers from the Scotland County Sheriff's office prepared a road block to stop the vehicle. The fleeing pickup continued leading officers onto several Clark County gravel roads until it was abandoned in a field, and the driver fled into a wooded area.

After a manhunt, the driver, Derek A. Westwater, 26, of Fort Wayne, IN, was located and taken into custody. The suspect vehicle was found to contain an active methamphetamine laboratory and other drug-related items.

Westwater was arrested for felony attempt to manufacture methamphetamine; felony possession of methamphetamine; felony possession Oxycodone; felony possession of drug paraphernalia; felony resisting arrest by fleeing; possession of marijuana; misdemeanor possession of marijuana; speed; failure to stop at a stop sign; careless and imprudent driving; driving while suspended; and 2nd degree trespassing.

Wrieden was arrested for felony attempt to manufacture methamphetamine; felony possession of methamphetamine; felony possession of Oxycodone; felony possession of drug paraphernalia; felony resisting arrest by fleeing; possession of marijuana; and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both individuals were taken to the Clark County Jail where they are currently being held on $100,000 bonds.

The Patrol was assisted by the Clark County Sheriff's Office, Scotland County Sheriff's Office, Kahoka Police Department, and a Missouri State Highway Patrol aircraft.

The charges for which Westwater and Wrieden were arrested are mere accusations and are not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of the charges must be presented to a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

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