On Wednesday, Jan. 6, Deputy Zachary Spohr of the Independence County Sheriff’s Department received a call from Reserve Deputy Jeremy Spohr in regards to numerous pieces of mail found in the ditch by multiple businesses along Batesville Boulevard. The located mail has been returned, however the department is unsure if any other mail that may be missing. If citizens find their mailbox has been damaged, contact the Independence County Sheriff's Office to file a report.
Also that day, Deputy Carey Thomas was dispatched to 345 Heber Springs Road in reference to a 2008 Honda 600 motorcycle being stolen. The deputy made contact with the homeowner, Warren Long, 44, of Batesville, who said sometime between Monday and Tuesday the motorcycle was taken off his carport. It was not in running condition at the time it was taken. A report for felony theft of an automobile was taken.
On Thursday, Jan. 7 an officer observed a gray 1991 Chevrolet pickup driving left of center on Newport Road. The vehicle pulled into the parking lot of the Southside Grill at the intersection of Hwy. 167 (Batesville Blvd.) and Hwy. 14 (Newport Rd.). The driver, Rodney Lee, 42, of Batesville provided his vehicle registration and driver's license, and advised he would have to find his insurance policy information on his phone. As the officer was stepping back to his patrol unit the agents with the 16th Judicial Drug Task Force arrived on scene. Agent Blake Cruz advised that Lee may be in possession of a large amount of methamphetamine. Dispatch advised that Lee was on parole, under active supervision, and had a search waiver on file. I then returned to Lee's vehicle, along with agents of the DTF, and asked Lee to step out of his vehicle because there was a search waiver on file, and that his vehicle was going to be searched. Lee assured me there was nothing illegal in his vehicle, and stepped to the rear of the vehicle. While searching from the passenger side of the vehicle, Agent Cruz advised he had located meth or cocaine (more than 2 grams but less than 10 grams), and to place Lee into custody. Another agent with the DTF performed a search of Lee's person, where a large amount of cash was located. Another large amount of cash was located inside his vehicle as well. The cash and narcotics were placed into my patrol unit, where an agent with the DTF counted the cash. After speaking with the agents on scene, I advised them that I would issue a verbal warning to Lee for his driving violation, and let them pursue the drug charges. The DTF seized the cash, narcotics, as well as Lee's vehicle on scene. All articles of evidence, as well as the vehicle, was provided to the on-scene agents with the 16th Judicial Drug Task Force and are not in the custody of the Independence County Sheriff's Department. At the request of the DTF, Lee was transported to the Independence County Detention Facility where he is being held on a probable cause hold for their agency.
Deputies also responded to two domestic violence calls. One an arrest was made and the suspect charged and the other didn't want to pursue charges.