Three arrested in Perry County drug investigation

Friday, April 20, 2012

PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- Two Perryville residents and a Cape Girardeau woman were arrested as part of an ongoing undercover drug operation, according to the Perry County Sheriff's Department.

Ethan W. Barnett, 22, of Perryville faces felony charges of distributing a controlled substance from an incident in February and possessing a chemical with intent to manufacture, stemming from a search warrant served April 10 at a residence in Perryville. Barnett also faces three misdemeanors for possession of an illegal weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia and buying more than 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine within 24 hours.

Also charged are Linda M. Barnett, 47, of Perryville, with felony distribution of a controlled substance; and Shawna Howell, 26, of Cape Girardeau, with felony distribution of an imitation controlled substance -- both women's charges stemming from the incident in February.

According to a probable-cause statement obtained from the Perry County Circuit Clerk's office, police conducting a narcotics investigation were contacted by a confidential informant who told them methamphetamine could be bought from Ethan Barnett. The informant, wearing an audio and video recording device, bought a half-gram of meth for $50 at Linda Barnett's residence from Ethan Barnett. According to the statement, Linda Barnett participated in the sale by placing a bread tie on the baggie of meth and putting the baggie on the couch.

Then, on April 10, the same informant sold Ethan Barnett eight boxes of pseudoephedrine pills, which he did, also while wearing the recording device. Later that day, a search warrant was executed, where they found the pills, several plastic baggies with meth residue, a switchblade, a glass marijuana pipe and a digital scale.

Because police originally misidentified Howell, her probable-cause statement could not be obtained late Thursday afternoon.

Ethan Barnett posted $20,000 bond and was released. Linda Barnett was released on a $10,000 bond. Howell was still in custody Thursday on a $25,000 cash-only bond.

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