Tip, cam­eras lead to drug bust near Pineville

The Weekly Vista - - News - ME­GAN DAVIS [email protected]

One tip, three mo­tion-ac­ti­vated cam­eras and a team of de­tec­tives led to a search war­rant that yielded 16 pounds of freshly-har­vested mar­i­juana in Pineville last week and the ar­rest of a Rogers car­di­ol­o­gist and his wife.

Af­ter in­ves­ti­gat­ing a tip, the McDon­ald County Sher­iff’s Of­fice re­ceived in Au­gust, deputies col­lab­o­rated with the Spe­cial Re­sponse Team to place cam­eras on the perime­ter of an al­leged mar­i­juana grow op­er­a­tion in a ru­ral area south of Pineville.

Ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease on Sept. 21, the SRT went to gather the cam­eras and dis­cov­ered that two of the cam­eras had been re­moved. The third cam­era was re­trieved, and a male and fe­male were shown har­vest­ing the mar­i­juana from the grow­ing lo­ca­tion, then tak­ing the other two cam­eras. The sub­jects were iden­ti­fied as Robert and Becky Stuppy. Ac­cord­ing to a prob­a­ble cause af­fi­davit, the cam­eras were on loan from MOCIC (Mid-States Or­ga­nized Crime In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter) and are val­ued at $1,200 apiece.

Deputies with the MCSO and SRT ex­e­cuted a search war­rant on the res­i­dence of Robert and Becky Stuppy at 590 Hard Drive and dis­cov­ered ap­prox­i­mately 16 pounds of mar­i­juana, a .357 mag­num re­volver and 10 ri­fles locked in a safe room. The safe room was hid­den be­hind a book­shelf that ap­peared to be mounted to the wall.

Robert and Becky Stuppy are both fac­ing felony charges in con­nec­tion with pos­ses­sion of a con­trolled sub­stance, man­u­fac­ture of a con­trolled sub­stance, un­law­ful use of weapon and theft/steal­ing.

Stuppy was sus­pended in­def­i­nitely from his job at Mercy Hos­pi­tal last week, Mercy spokes­woman Jen­nifer Cook said. A plan is in place for the care of Stuppy’s pa­tients, Cook said last Fri­day.

The Stup­pys are sched­uled to ap­pear be­fore a judge on Oct. 29.

Cour­tesy photo

The McDon­ald County Sher­iff's Of­fice re­cently con­fis­cated 16 pounds of freshly-har­vested mar­i­juana fol­low­ing a search war­rant in ru­ral Pineville. Deputy Bill Ca­gle ex­plained that many grow­ers will place bread or crack­ers in the mar­i­juana bags to help wick away mois­ture.

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