Joplin police say they made a substantial drug bust last night at around 10. It happened near the intersection of Seventh and Illinois. Police say a driver called dispatch and said a car was being driven erratically.
When police pulled over the driver of that car, 31-year-old Tara Highfill of Carthage, investigators say officers found 23 grams of meth. Police believe there was intent to distribute based on what else was inside the car.
"They found a combination of a digital scale, multiple baggies containing approximately 23 grams of meth, which leads officers to believe there was an intent to distribute," says Sergeant Trevor Duncan with the Joplin Police Department.
Police say this case is a reminder of how the public can make a difference.
"Any time the community can get involved, such as last night, see a driver that is clearly impaired causing issues and a danger to the community, and take the time to call us, it not only allows us to stop that driver from continuing to be a danger, but also in this case it allowed us to get some drugs off the street that were maybe unexpected in that situation," says Duncan.
Police hope this bust will make a difference, but add that unfortunately, there will always be a war against illegal drugs.
"As a community, there is a lot of drug issues, and we're constantly dealing with those and trying to combat those and trying to combat some of the circumstances that arise from the drug issues, such as in this case, driving under the influence of drugs and being a danger to the community," says Duncan.
The Jasper County prosecutor has filed a charge of possession of a controlled substance, punishable by up to seven years in prison. Highfill is also charged with driving while intoxicated, punishable by up to six months in county jail. A third charge, driving with a suspended driver's license, carries a fine.
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