Jackson County law enforcement officials recently solved a case over lunch.
A group of law enforcement officials eating lunch at a local restaurant had their meal interrupted when they spotted suspicious activity right outside the front door.
Four people were arrested in the ensuing investigation. Brandon Keith Reynolds, 38, and Stevy Amber Carte, 40, both of 286 Main St., Cottageville, were charged with felony counts of receiving or transferring stolen goods and conspiracy. Their bonds were set at $10,000.
Jessie Lynn Flesher, 26, of 17 Stweetpea Lane, Ravenswood, was charged with felony counts of receiving or transferring stolen goods and conspiracy. Flesher’s bond was set at $10,000. Justin Keith Southall, 18, 57 Joshua Lane, Gay, was charged with grand larceny. Southall’s bond was set at $5,000.
Around noon on Tuesday, Sheriff Tony Boggs, Lt. C.C. Metz, and other law enforcement officials were eating lunch at Mak-a-Mia Pizza on Court Street in Ripley when the officers noticed suspicious behavior outside, according to a criminal complaint filed by Metz in Jackson County Magistrate court.
The restaurant is located directly across the street from the Jackson County Courthouse, in an area of downtown Ripley that has a high population of law officers on any given day.
The officers saw several people in a small gray car that was parked in front of the restaurant. Boggs and Metz saw Southall standing near the open rear passenger door of the vehicle dropping items onto the ground and kicking them under the car, according to the complaint.
Boggs and Metz went outside and confronted Southall and Reynolds about the activity. When Metz approached, Southall was down on his knees on the pavement with the front of his body leaning inside the car. Metz noticed Southall was holding onto several rings, showing them to a female inside the vehicle, the complaint states.
Metz saw the items Southall had been dropping were plastic tabs with Walmart bar codes on them that had been attached to the rings, according to the complaint.
Metz asked Southall what he was doing and he said he was showing the rings to the female in an attempt to sell them to her. He said he purchased the rings at Walmart to sell for a profit, the complaint alleges.
Southall and Reynolds were patted down and detained. A search of Reynolds produced several rings on his left thumb, several knives, several fishing lures still in the packaging in his coat pocket, and a hatchet and a pick hammer that were stuffed down the front of his pants, according to the complaint.
The owner of the vehicle gave Boggs permission to search the vehicle. Officers found a bag containing numerous wrist watches and articles of clothing, most from Walmart, that still had the tags on them. The search also resulted in the discovery of a pump shotgun and an air-soft pistol.