Last Thursday’s service of a search warrant at 502 Rhodes Street on Seymour’s west side resulted in six arrests in an operation led by the Seymour Police Department, with assistance provided by sheriff’s departments in Douglas and Webster counties.
Around 8:45 p.m. that evening, Sgt. Chase Davis, Officer Skylar McIntosh and Officer Ray Rodriguez of the Seymour Police Department, as well as two Webster County deputies, Douglas County Sheriff Chris Degase and three of his deputies, served the aforementioned warrant at a trailer on Rhodes Street that Davis said commonly is referred to as “The Trap Trailer” because of its use as a site to deal and use drugs.
“In terms of problem areas in Seymour, it’s No. 2, just behind the home at 738 South Water Street,” Davis noted.
“Actually, at the time of the warrant, it might have been the top problem here, because things have slowed down at the home on Water.
“We had been watching this address for over a year.”
When officers entered the trailer, seven people were found inside.
Three of them were in the master bedroom.
“Then we found a guy hiding in the bathroom, Chance Smith of Ava, who was on parole,” Davis explained. “He had a warrant (for his arrest), and Smith put up a fight before he was handcuffed.”
Davis said that while searching the bathroom after Smith’s arrest, officers found needles that he tried to hide.
“Another guy who was in the bedroom was a registered sex offender,” he noted. “Although he was from Springfield, he had been living in that trailer for quite a while.”
In the trailer’s master bedroom, Davis said officers found methamphetamine, several hundred hypodermic needles, both new and used, several baggies with meth and several pipes used to smoke meth.
“The lady who lives at the home, the renter, she’s not been charged yet,” Davis said. “She did admit that she knew drugs were in the home and also has an extensive criminal past.”
Her son, Daniel Morton, was discovered by officers while exiting another bedroom in the trailer.
“Daniel Morton had just been paroled from prison,” Davis said. “And he basically was paroled to a drug house.”
Davis said arresting Daniel Morton wasn’t an easy task.
“He was cussing and had a knife in his belt,” he explained.
“He was resisting arrest, yelling ... ultimately, he was arrested by officers at the scene.
“We found meth and drug paraphernalia in his bedroom. We also found a ledger that described who owed him money and who had paid for dope. There were scales in the room and hundreds of clean baggies for meth.”
A 17-year-old female from Ava also was arrested, Davis said.
“She’s a young lady who has frequented the home at 738 South Water Street in the past,” he noted. “She was caught with drug paraphernalia that tested positive for meth.”
An Ava man, Nathan Lyerly, also was arrested, per Davis.
“Just before his arrest, he threw a syringe in the toilet,” he said. “We also found a spoon (used for drugs) on the floor of the bathroom he exited.”
The final person arrested was Seymour’s Nikita Johnson.
“He was in the bedroom where all of the drug paraphernalia was found,” Davis said. “Charges are pending on him, as well as a couple of others.”
In total, six of the seven people in the home were arrested.
All six were taken to the Webster County Jail in Marshfield.
Davis said on Monday that of the six who were arrested last Thursday night, Morton and Smith remain in custody.
Two others were released on bond, while two others were released with charges pending.
Davis added that the Rhodes Street home is owned by a Seymour landlord who he described as “a good person.”
Will Thursday’s arrest end its tenure as a drug trailer?
“I sure hope so,” Davis said. “The bottom line is that three of the seven people we found in there with drugs were on parole. Some of them are people we’ve arrested before. And these people, most of them, need to stay in jail.
“The more times they are released, the more dangerous they become. Not only do they sell dope, they often become violent offenders as they seek dope.”
He also credited Degase and Webster County Sheriff Roye Cole as excellent elected officials who are committed to cleaning up the area’s drug problem.
“Both of those sheriffs are always willing to help us, as are their deputies,” Davis concluded. “We couldn’t eradicate drugs in Seymour without their help. We just don’t have the manpower, which is a reality for all small towns like ours.”