A three-vehicle wreck on Highway 37 outside of Purdy led to the discovery of a almost quarter of a pound of methamphetamine on Tuesday morning, April 23. According to a report by Purdy Police Chief Jackie Lowe, a driver from Conway caused the crash after failing to stay in the correct lane of traffic and officers later discovered the meth.
Lucas Baldwin, 24, of Conway, was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado southbound on Highway 37. Purdy Police reported Baldwin crossed the center-line and struck a 2018 Freightliner, driven by Harold L. Wells, 59, of Aurora. When the Freightliner was struck, two tires were dislodged and one hit a third vehicle, a 2009 Nissan Versa, driven by Ronald Roetto, 48, of Monett, headed northbound.
No one was injured in the crash. The Silverado was totaled, and the Freightliner sustained extensive damage. Both were towed from the scene. The Versa sustained minor damage and was driven from the scene.
While investigating the crash, Lowe reported to have found 105 grams of methamphetamine in Baldwin's pickup.
Baldwin was issued a citation for failure to stay on the right half of the roadway and transported to the Barry County Jail on a 24 hours hold for possession of a controlled substance.
As of Wednesday, April 24, Baldwin was charged with class A felony trafficking drugs in the first degree and misdemeanor unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to the affidavits of probable cause by Detective Joe Houdyshell with the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team (ODET), officers located the bag of methamphetamine under the open hood of the truck driven by Baldwin. Houdyshell then located addition empty baggies, a digital scale, two spoons and a glass pipe with methamphetamine residue on it.
During the interview with Baldwin, he told officers he smoked methamphetamine about thirty minutes or an hour before in Springfield before leaving to go home in Conway. Baldwin reported to officers he remembered using a restroom in Aurora but nothing else before the crash. Baldwin also reportedly told officers he's fallen asleep driving and had done the same thing about a week prior.
Baldwin claimed the meth was not his and did not remember seeing it when he changed his oil. Baldwin is currently on probation for delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.
Baldwin is currently held in the Barry County Jail in lieu of a $75,000 cash-only bond.
The Purdy Police Department was assisted by Purdy Fire Protection District, Barry-Lawrence Ambulance, Monett City Fire Department, Wheaton Police Department and Thomas Towing.