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What started out as a routine traffic stop has resulted in two arrests on drug charges, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
On May 15, Deputy Brad Loveless and Sheriff Chris Degase arrested Joseph Merriett, 35, and Jeffery Schmidt, 48, both of Ava.
Deputy Loveless initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle after he recognized the driver as Merriett who was known to have an outstanding warrant out of Wright County.
After making the stop, Sheriff Degase and Deputy Loveless located methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. Both subjects in the car were taken into custody and charged with various drug related offenses.
Charges against the two include possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of a controlled substance less than 35 grams of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Bond was set at $24,000 on both subjects. On May 16, 2011 both subjects posted bond.
Sheriff Degase said this is an ongoing effort to fight the growing drug problem that we are currently facing.
Unrelated to this event, On May 19, Sheriff’s Dept. Sgt. Vernon Johnson arrested Jerry Terry, 50, of Ava for stealing.
Sgt. Johnson had been working on a report where a horse trailer was stolen from the Eagles Lodge on West 14 Highway on Nov. 11, 2010. The trailer was recovered, by Deputy Loveless on Dec. 5, 2010 in the Vera Cruz area east of Ava, abandoned on unoccupied land.
The trailer was returned to the owner, however, the case has been pending.
Sgt. Johnson received information that linked Terry to the stealing of the trailer and a warrant was subsequently issued. His bond was set at $25,000. Terry posted bond on May 20.
Sheriff Degase commends the hard and dedicated work of his deputies and is happy that the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office was able to make more drug arrests and solve additional property crimes.