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3rd Suspect Charged In Recent Drug Bust

Stolen Items Recovered from Break-Ins

The Ava Police Department reported this week that a third person has now been charged in connection with a drug bust executed last weekend in Ava.

On Friday, June 22, the Ava Police Department was called to a residence in the 400 block of NW 4th Street in Ava for a domestic disturbance.

Upon arrival, officers were met by a woman who indicated everything was fine; however, on further investigation, officers entered the residence where they found a male subject, unconscious in a closet. The man was transported to a Springfield hospital by ambulance with unknown injuries.

While officers were assisting EMS personnel, they noticed what they believed to be items taken in recent break-ins in the Ava View Heights subdivision about a week earlier.

Officers Tim Stuart and Greg Byerley applied for and obtained a search warrant for the residence that was served by the Police Department and Douglas County Sheriff’s Department.

Several items alleged to be stolen were seized by the officers, along with a methamphetamine lab.

“All the items that were taken from the residence have been identified by the victims,” said Ava Police Chief Reggie Johnson.

Two arrests were made and the investigation was said to be ongoing.

Monday morning, Lieutenant Trent Murray, of the Ava Police Dept., reported that a third suspect was arrested Sunday by Ava Officer Tiffany Neill.

The two arrested originally were Brandon Baker, 30, and Jamie Perryman, 19, both of Ava. The third person arrested on Sunday was Benjamin Tyrus Hempel, 19.

All three face similar charges of distribution, delivery, manufacturing, producing or attempting to distribute, deliver, manufacture or produce a controlled substance; receiving stolen property; and possession of methamphetamine precursor drug with intent to manufacture amphetamine, methamphetamine or any of their analogs.

All three are being held in the Douglas County Jail on $55,000 bond each.

Police Chief Johnson said, “I want to thank all the officers and the deputies for all their hard work on this case, along with the great efforts of both departments working well together in getting the stolen items back to their rightful owners.”

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