BUSTED: New Tactic Leads to Multiple Arrests
Thu, 05/28/2020 - 3:57pm admin
Amanda Mendez, Publisher
Chief Bryan Hogan of the Willow Springs Police Department said in a press release his department has taken an “aggressive stance against the drug problem in our community.”
Officers of the WSPD created a dummy profile depicting a local adult woman, and without invitation, more than one local man contacted “her” in reference to selling or offering drugs.
On May 1, a 78-year-old man contacted the profile offering to meet her and bring her marijuana brownies. A short time later, the man arrived at the designated location and did bring marijuana brownies. After contact with Willow Springs police officers, he consented to a search of his home on E. Seventh St. in Mountain View. Both WSPD and Mountain View Police Department officers participated in the search. The man was released, and charges were forwarded to the prosecuting attorney.
On May 4, the same social media profile was contacted by a 54-year-old Caulfield man. The man offered to exchange pain medication and cash for sexual contact. Officers met the man at the agreed-upon location, and he was found to be in possession of 33 Hydromorphone pills, a schedule two controlled substance. The subject was arrested and released with charges being forwarded to the prosecuting attorney’s office.
On May 14, a third man contacted the profile and arranged to meet at a location in Willow Springs, stating that he would bring a variety of drugs. At the location, police arrested Dakota Sloan, 23, of West Plains. Sloan was found to be in possession of:
-6 bags of marijuana
-2 bags of pills believed to be MDMA
-1 bag of a substance believed to be methamphetamine
-1 bag of a substance believed to be heroin
-19 bags of THC gummies
-1 tin container containing a substance believed to be fentanyl
-3 bags of psychedelic mushrooms
-23 Gabapentin pills
-6 Xanax bars
-1 bag of Adderall pills
-2 Viagra pills
-1 pair of brass knuckles
Sloan was taken into custody and was charged with sixteen felonies.
As a result of an interaction with one of the men who contacted the dummy profile, officers were able to identify an additional suspect. They applied for and were granted a search warrant for a residence on County Road 3370 in Mountain View.
On May 16, officers with WSPD, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Howell County Sheriff’s Office, and South Central Drug Task Force served a search warrant at the home of Zachary Gulnac, age 32. The following items were seized following the search:
-Approximately $3,000 in cash
-3 bags of marijuana
-6 bags of THC gummies
-1 bag of psychedelic mushrooms
-several items of paraphernalia including scales, vacuum sealers, bags, etc…
Gulnac was arrested and charged with eight felonies.
In an interview, Chief Hogan acknowledged the severity of the drug problem in and around Willow Springs. He said responding to overdoses is not an “every day” problem, but it does happen. From his perspective, prescription medications are on the street much more frequently than heroin or fentanyl.
Chief Hogan acknowledged the work of Corporal Brian Jackson and Officer Paden Turnbull for their contribution to “this investigation that took a large amount of illegal drugs off the street, and slowed the efforts of local drug distributors in our area.”