Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Talley Kendrick said there was no plea deal for Joseph Bias.
One of the four people charged with several felony counts related to an early-morning drug raid in September 2017 pleaded guilty during a court hearing on Thursday, Jan. 4, at the Monroe County Courthouse in Paris.
Joseph D. Bias, 40, of O’Fallon, Mo., entered guilty pleas for felony possession of illegal drugs, felony distribution of illegal drugs and felony tampering with evidence. Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd has scheduled his sentencing hearing for March 1 at the Monroe County Courthouse.
Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Talley Kendrick said there was no plea deal for Bias.
He is the second suspect in the drug raid to plead guilty.
Michael Gary Hicken, 43, of Mexico, pleaded guilty two felonies – delivery of illegal drugs and endangering the welfare of a child involving drugs. In a plea agreement, Judge Michael Wilson sentenced Hicken to a total of 15 years in prison. Hicken can be placed on probation if he successfully completes a long-term treatment program administered by the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Two others charged in the raid still face court dates.
Shannon Dale Smith, 42, of Paris faces seven felony charges, including five related to illegal drugs, charging illegal possession of a weapon with a felony controlled substance and maintaining a public nuisance.
In hearing on Thursday, Smith’s attorney, Gillis C. Leonard, requested a change of judge and a change of venue.
The fourth person charged in the raid, Edelina Sue Harrison, 31, of Mexico, faces one count of felony possession of illegal drugs and a felony endangerment of a child involving drugs. She has a hearing scheduled on Feb. 1 in Monroe County.
A fifth person arrested during the raid was not charged.
“I am pleased that the decision made months ago for Monroe County to partner with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the East Central Drug Task Force for drug enforcement is paying off,” Kendrick said. “The increased efforts to take serious and repeat drug offenders out of the community we hope will also have a positive impact on the number of associated burglary and stealing crimes. I want the people in Monroe County to feel safe in their homes and this serves that end.”
On Sept. 29, 2017, officers from four agencies raided the rural home in Monroe County early Friday morning, making the arrests and seizing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. More than a dozen officers, armed with no-knock search warrants, conducted the raid just at dawn on property with a house and travel trailers, located on 20 acres of land about five miles east of Paris.
Monroe County Sheriff David Hoffman led the raid, along with the bulk of his force, with deputies from the Ralls County Sheriff’s Department, troopers from Missouri Highway Patrol and agents from the East Central Missouri Drug Task Force. Monroe County has a contract with the Central Missouri Drug Task Force for illegal drug-related investigations.
The raid was complicated because a 1-year-old child was present. Hoffman said that precautions were taken so that the child was not in danger. The child was reportedly found near a stack of used needles.