Press Releases


Three People Arrested New Year's Day for Drugs

Anthony Pagano

Rebekah Penney Paul Miller

On January 1, 2021 at approximately 9:18 pm, Barry County Deputy Noah Whitehead along with Cassville Officer Justin Dunivant attempted to serve a felony warrant at 1645 Schell Street for Anthony Pagano.  Officer Dunivant knocked on the door and Pagano answered officers but would not open the door.  Establishing that they had enough probable cause to enter the residence for a felony arrest, Deputy Whitehead and Officer Dunivant entered the residence and located 52 year old Anthony Pagano in the bathroom.  They also located two other individuals, 44 year old Rebekah Penney and 32 year old Paul Miller.  After what appeared to be narcotics and drug paraphernalia in plain view, the officers applied for a search warrant for the residence.  All three subjects inside the residence were placed on a 24 hour hold and transported to the Barry County Jail.  After the search warrant was obtained, the residence was searched and officers located drug paraphernalia(including spoons and smoking pipes), digital scales, a workbench area that had the precursors for making methamphetamine, several pills, 3 bags of suspected heroin,  5 small bags containing a white powdery substance suspected to be methamphetamine, several used clear bags with a white powdery residue, 1 bag containing a crystal like substance and a shotgun.  All three have been charged with 1 count of felony Attempt to Manufacture a Controlled Substance, 1 count of felony Delivery of a Controlled Substance,  6 counts of Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance, 1 count of felony Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, 1 count of misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and 1 count of misdemeanor Possession of a Controlled Substance.  Rebekah Penney has also been charged with 1 count of felony Delivering or Concealing Prohibited Articles in the jail. Bonds have been set for all three at $50,000 cash only.

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New Release

On October 20, 2019 at approximately 8 pm, Barry County Deputies responded to a shots fired call with possible gunshot victims on Farm Road 2200 just outside of Cassville.  Deputies were advised that 2 men had transported themselves to Mercy Hospital in Cassville, Missouri.  Both men had non-life threatening injuries, one sustained an injury to his arm and the other to his leg.  After talking with witnesses of the shooting, Barry County Deputies were able to apprehend the shooter 63 year old Ronnie Adkins of Cassville, Mo.  Mr. Adkins has been placed on a 24 hour hold and charges have been requested for Assault 1st Degree , Armed Criminal Action, and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

Sheriff Property Dispersal Auction October 29th

The Barry County Sheriff's Office will be holding a Sheriff's Property Dispersal Sale on October 29th, 2019 at 6:00 pm at the old courthouse on the square in Cassville, Missouri

There will be approximately 100 guns as well as lots of other miscellaneous items.


All Sales are Final Barry County and or the Auction Services are not responsible for accidents, injury, or death caused by any firearms. All Gun Buyers will submit to and pass a criminal background check before gun will be turned over to the buyer. You are agreeing by the purchase of a gun that you do not have a felony conviction, been convicted of any crime involving domestic assault, and that you are at least 21 years of age. If you purchase a firearm and fail the background check you will forfeit the money paid and lose the gun. Items listed may be added or removed before sale time. All FFL holders must provide a copy of FFL. Only Missouri residents can purchase handguns.

A list of all items may be viewed at the Barry County Sheriff's Office website www.barrycountysheriff.com Community Outreach Tab or a copy may be picked up at the lobby of the Barry County Jail.

Purdy woman arrested for allegedly pulling gun on road workers

Charlea Estes-Jones

A woman from Purdy is in custody after allegedly pulling a gun on road district workers in July. Cheryl L. Staponski, 59, is charged with two counts of assault in the first degree or attempt, two counts of armed criminal action and one count of unlawful use of a weapon.
According to affidavits of probable cause by the Barry County Sheriff's Department, 
Staponski pulled a semiautomatic pistol on two road district workers who were inspecting damage to the road of Farm Road 2057 on July 14 around 6:30 p.m. The victims claim Staponski pulled the slide back to chamber a round and threatened to kill them if they did not leave.
Staponski allegedly held the gun on the victims until they drove away. The victims also reported she threatened to have her dog attack the workers, as well.
Staponski is currently being held in the Barry County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 cash-only bond.

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Vandals strike tombstones of baby girl, beloved father in Barry County

Vandals damaged Zach Vance's family tombstones at the Washburn Prairie Cemetery in Barry County.

He says he and his family are at a loss for words over the destruction. Vance says the tombstones of his second cousin, who passed away from cystic fibrosis and a heart condition, and with his father who died in a truck driving accident, were destroyed.

The Barry County Sheriffs Office says whoever did this drove off Washburn Prairie Road and left tire marks on and around the grave sites. Vance says this is the first this has ever happened to his family's burial site. He says he is also unaware of the cemetery having camera footage of the incident.

He says he has been asking neighbors nearby if they caught the crime by there deer cameras, but has had no luck.

Vance says they will be fixing the tombstones, but he does not think this is a random act because his family tombstones are the only ones destroyed.

The family is offering a reward, but have not set an amount.

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One charged in assault that critically injured victim

A Cassville man is in police custody after injuring two, leaving one in critical condition and lifeflighted to Mercy Hospital in Springfield. Alan Michael Mellow, 27, is charged with one count of domestic assault in the first degree with serious injury, two counts of armed criminal action and one count of domestic assault in the third degree.
According to an affidavit of probable cause by the Barry County Sheriff's Department deputy Kyle Rhea, Mellow committed the crime at a residence on Farm Road 1110 on June 5. The officer reported that Mellow stabbed one of the victims with a large knife in the left side of his upper torso, causing serious injuries that left the victim in critical condition in the ICU.
Mellow then allegedly got in to a physical altercation with a second victim that resulted in the victim's knee dislocating. Mellow allegedly threatened the second victim with the knife, saying he would stab him with it.
Mellow is currently held in the Barry County Jail in lieu of a $75,000 cash-only bond.

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Human remains identified in Barry County

Human remains found south of Jenkins, Mo. in Barry County have been identified as that of 35 year old Ronald Jessup Brightwell of Springfield, Missouri.

Brightwell's remains were uncovered on March 26th, 2018. The Barry County Sheriff's office says they are seeking information from anyone who may have had contact with Brightwell prior to his disappearance in 2012.

If you were in contact with Brightwell through any method of communication you are asked to call the Barry County Sheriff's office at 417-847-6556.

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Aurora man charged in meth conspiracy

Local participation alleged in multi-state drug trafficking

An Aurora man has been indicted along with five other southern Missouri residents by a federal grand jury in Federal District Court in Springfield for a multi-state operation involving multi-pound shipments of methamphetamine.
Jason C. Brookshire, 37, of Aurora, was one of 15 defendants named in the indictment for a conspiracy to transport meth from Arizona to Missouri. Other area defendants included Gregory L. Hopper, 34, and Amanda L. Robinson, 27, both of Springfield; Leslie T. Ray, 49, and Melissa D. Melencamp, 42, both of Branson; and Olivia L. Fluke, 34, of Reeds Spring.
The grand jury also indicted four from Tucson, Arizona, two from New Mexico, and others from Texas and Mountain Home, Ark. Two of the Arizona subjects had been indicted on March 26, and those charges were superseded by the latest ground jury.
The federal indictment alleges that all 15 defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Greene, Christian, Polk, and Taney counties from June 2017 to March 18, 2019.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, the investigation began when law enforcement officer seized nearly two pounds of methamphetamine from a Branson hotel room. The subject in that arrest, Manual Edgardo Cortez, also known as "Manny," 44, of Tucson, Ariz., allegedly used couriers to transport multi-pound loads of methamphetamine from Arizona to Branson. On several of those trips, says the affidavit, couriers transported 15-pound loads of methamphetamine.
On Feb. 20, 2019, Arizona state troopers seized approximately eight pounds of methamphetamine from Arnold during a traffic stop near Phoenix, the affidavit states. The methamphetamine allegedly was supplied by Cortez and destined for Springfield.
Seven subjects face additional charges related to  the distribution of meth. Three face charges for possession of firearms as part of a drug trafficking crime.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Abram McGull II. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Immigration and Custom Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HIS); the Branson Police Department the Christian County Sheriff's Department; the Ozark Police Department; the Springfield Police Department; the Missouri State Highway Patrol; the Silver City, N.M., Police Department; and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Man charged with child molestation

Purdy man being held on $45K cash bond

A Purdy man is facing a felony and two misdemeanors stemming from two occasions where he allegedly inappropriately touched a minor less than 17 years of age.
Lloyd Anderson, 26, of Purdy, is charged with fourth-degree child molestation and two counts of misdemeanor supplying liquor to a minor.
According to a probable cause statement filed by Det. Angela Cole, with the Barry County Sheriff’s Office, Anderson allegedly supplied the victim with alcohol on two different occasions at a residence in Purdy. After the victim drank the alcohol, Anderson allegedly touched the victim inappropriately.
The minor was caught with the alcohol and said Anderson provided it. Anderson agreed to speak to deputies after being told his Miranda rights and allegedly admitted to supplying the alcohol and the inappropriate touching.
Anderson is being held in the Barry County jail on a cash-only bond of $45,000. He has been arraigned, and a disposition hearing is set for May 30 at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke.

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Mail thefts on the rise in southwest Missouri

Counterfeit bills circulating in Aurora

Warm weather typically equates to a rise in crime, and this year is no exception.
Law enforcement officials from the bi-county area reported increases in various crimes involving mail thefts, vehicle thefts and badly reproduced counterfeit bills once again circulating the community.
Pierce City Police Chief Mike Abramovitz reported a recent spate of vehicle break-ins on the north-central side of the city, where it is believed an individual traveled on foot to pilfer loose change, purses, electronics, a range-finder and a pair of binoculars from three different vehicles in one night.
"We're hoping someone has a camera," he said.
The incident occurred in the late night ours of April 17, and Abramovitz reported having no leads at the time.
Monett officers have also been investigating several cases of vehicle theft, as well as deputies with Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, who are seeking information on a recent Stotts City truck theft.
Purdy Police Chief Jackie Lowe announced Barry County officials were seeking information on the whereabouts of Jeremy Alan Martines-Brooks, 29, of Eureka Springs, Ark., on the class D felony of second degree burglary.
Lowe said on April 12, Martines-Brooks was involved in a vehicle pursuit that began in Eureka Springs, Ark., and ended in the Shell Knob area, where the pursuit was terminated after the suspect called dispatch and threatened to drive head on into traffic if the police continued to pursue him. During the vehicle pursuit, Martines-Brooks was observed throwing numerous pieces of stolen mail from his vehicle.
Martines-Brooks has reportedly been stealing mail from rural mailboxes throughout the northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri region, retrieving checks and then washing them of information before forging and cashing them at area banks. Known victims live in Eagle Rock, Golden, Shell Knob in Missouri, and Gravette, Lowell and Eureka Springs in Arkansas.
The suspect vehicle as driving a Silver Toyota FJ Cruiser with Arkansas plates 199RDK.
Martines-Brooks is currently a person of interest in several ongoing burglar, stealing and forgery cases in Arkansas and Missouri.
Lowe reported Barr County law enforcement officials, along with the Department of Senior Services, are seeking information on the location of Gail Sue Branstetter, 62, of Aurora, who is wanted for financial exploitation of an elderly/disabled person with a property value amount of $50,000 or more, a class A felony. Bond has been set at $75,000 cash only.
Donna Beckett, board secretary, said some counterfeit checks had been circulated in the Aurora area.
"It's fake money being passed by kids," she said. "They're not even good fakes. It states right on them it isn't real money."

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