An Audrain County Sheriff’s Department deputy who helped net almost a pound of meth Tuesday recognized the suspect from a prior drug-related arrest after he almost caused a traffic accident, according to court documents.
Joey Allen Thorpe was arrested on alleged first-degree drug trafficking and careless and imprudent driving charges. He also was arrested Jan. 2 on alleged second-degree drug trafficking, unlawful drug possession and manufacture of a controlled substance charges. Both arrests were the result of initial traffic stops.
According to court documents, Cpl. Derek Chism was conducting traffic observations in the 4000 block of U.S. Highway 54 on Tuesday in Laddonia when he checked the registration of a 1994 Chevrolet Silverado, which belonged to Thorpe.
Chism noted in the probable cause statement he knew Thorpe. He was part of the canine unit requested in Thorpe’s Jan. 2 arrest.
During his observations, Chism noted Thorpe made a brief stop at the Laddonia Casey’s General Store, 110 S. Pine St. Thorpe was reported to have briefly stopped at a gas pump before proceeding to the intersection of West First and South Pine streets.
Thorpe turned north onto South Pine Street, pulling out in front of another driver who braked to avoid a collision, according to court documents.
Chism stopped Thorpe and asked about his brief stop at Casey’s. Thorpe said he was planning to get gasoline but changed his mind and left, according to the report. Because of this response and Chism’s prior knowledge of Thorpe, he requested to search the vehicle. Thorpe denied this request.
The department canine then conducted a free air sniff of the Chevrolet’s exterior, according to court documents. The dog’s breathing pattern and body posture reportedly changed when approaching driver side door, eventually indicating drugs were in the vehicle when it sat.
Chism then conducted a search of the vehicle where he found a bag containing two smaller bags of a crystalized substance. The deputy reportedly identified the substance as methamphetamine, which weighed 419 grams.