Police: Drug deal leads to armed robbery attempt

Sunday, June 12, 2011

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- A Poplar Bluff man was in the Butler County jail Friday morning and could face charges of armed criminal action, first-degree assault, attempted robbery and endangering the welfare of a child after an alleged failed marijuana deal Thursday. A female companion could face the same charges but has been released from custody.

According to Poplar Bluff Police Department deputy chief Jeff Rolland, officers were dispatched to 1418 Woodland Drive around 2 p.m. Thursday for a report of shots fired. The resident, Richard Padilla, 19, was reportedly fired at by Anthony "Ant" Griffin, 23, of Poplar Bluff.

"The investigation revealed that Padilla had made arrangements for Griffin and another individual to come over to his house to sell him marijuana," Rolland said. The second person was identified as Giselle Cravens, 17, of Poplar Bluff.

"When Griffin and Cravens arrived, it was to rob Mr. Padilla instead of sell him drugs," he added. "They struggled over some money, approximately $200, and Griffin ... demanded the money back."

"When Padilla refused to give the money to Griffin, Griffin produced a pistol and fired two rounds in the direction of Padilla," Rolland said.

When officers arrived on scene, Griffin and Cravens were already gone.

"An extensive search was conducted for Griffin and Cravens," Rolland said. "With the assistance of our Cyber Crimes Investigative Unit, we were able to use advanced locating technology."

"About 9 p.m. Chief [Danny] Whiteley, Lt. David Sutton and members of the patrol division secured the residence at 621 Cynthia, where they located and arrested Griffin," he said.

Also reportedly at the scene at the time of the incident were witnesses Raymond Salazar, 18, of Poplar Bluff, Carmen Faries, 18, of Puxico, Mo., and a 15-year-old. The juvenile's presence led the department to seek charges of endangering the welfare of a child. Rolland said a warrant application for the charges has been sent to the prosecuting attorney's office. The charges were still under review at press time.

Pertinent address:

1418 Woodland Drive, Poplar Bluff, MO

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