High-speed chase leads to meth arrests
An escapee from the state prison in Fort Madison led Washington County Sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase in excess of 100 mph in a stolen car Friday night and tried to ram a sheriff’s vehicle before wrecking.
Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar said that after the crash, Richard Campbell, 25, of Keokuk, tried to flee on foot. The sheriff’s department K-9 located Campbell hiding in a creek bed and he was taken into custody. He faces charges of conspiracy to manufacture meth, unlawful possession of anhydrous, driving under suspension, possession of a controlled substance, interference with official acts, assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon, felony eluding, reckless driving, careless driving and failure to maintain control. Charges are pending for OWI and operating without owner’s consent. He has pleaded not guilty and remains in the Washington County jail under $100,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 16.
Dunbar said that Campbell had been on work release at Fort Madison prison about four months ago and had not returned. He did not know the charge Campbell was incarcerated for. There was a statewide active warrant for prohibited acts with a $25,000 bond.
Desiree Stinson, 20, of Keokuk, was a passenger in the vehicle. She was arrested at the same time and location for conspiracy to manufacture meth, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. She also pleaded not guilty and is being held under $10,000 bond. Her preliminary hearing is Aug. 16.
According to court records, Deputy Nathan Schmuecker radared a 1996 Honda Civic going 74 mph in a 65 mph zone in the 2000 block of Highway 218. He attempted to pull over the vehicle. The vehicle refused to stop. Schmuecker reported a high-speed chase to the intersection of 192nd and Vine, which continued southbound on Vine Avenue at a “radar locked” speed of 110 mph in a 55 mph zone. The report said that the driver of the vehicle failed to obey the stop sign at Vine and 220th and continued eastbound, crossing the centerline several times. The pursuit continued into Louisa County. The vehicle reportedly spun sideways. Schmuecker positioned his car in front of the vehicle to attempt to end the pursuit while an Iowa Department of Motor Vehicles car that had joined the pursuit attempted to box the vehicle in. He reports that the vehicle continued into the ditch before reentering County Road X-17 and rammed the sheriff’s vehicle as it re-entered the roadway.
Dunbar said that Schmuecker was not injured when his vehicle was rammed. He said that the sheriff’s vehicle had been damaged on the front, driver’s side, but was still able to continue the pursuit. The pursuit continued to Y Avenue and onto the Louisa/Washington Road. At about 175th and Louisa/Washington Road, K-9 Deputy Jason Schlabaugh became the lead vehicle and took command of the pursuit. At about 170th Street and Yucca Avenue, the vehicle purposely wrecked through a fence, into a ditch and came to rest in a field.
After the pursuit ended, the driver, identified as Campbell, fled on foot. Stinson was found in the passenger’s seat and taken into custody. A search of the vehicle found a coffee filter containing powdered methamphetamine.
The department’s K-9 found Campbell hiding in a creek bed, the court records said. He was taken into custody.
A search of the vehicle found methamphetamine in an aluminum “boat,” a syringe used to inject meth, about 53 lithium batteries, about 100 empty plastic baggies, 12 lighters, two digital scales with residue, two metal strippers, a pair of vice grips and a handheld police scanner. In the trunk a large propane style tank with a “handmade valve” was located. The strong odor of anhydrous ammonia was present.
Dunbar said that the Riverside Fire Department had to decontaminate Campbell and Stinson before they were taken into custody.
Conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance is a Class C felony, which can bring up to 10 years imprisonment. Assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon is a Class D felony that can bring up to five years in prison.