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Man arrested with $70K in meth

Thursday, September 1, 2005

After two days of searching in woods and sorting through tips, a Hardy man who was found to have more than $70,000 of ice methamphetamine in his car was arrested at a Fulton County motel with even more drugs Aug. 24.

Brian Duane Shackelford, 34, is charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and felony fleeing.

Working on a tip Ash Flat Police officer Shane Russell, Sharp County Sgt. Stan Haney and Cherokee Village Police officer Wendell Lane arrested Shackelford at the Razorback Motel on Highway 63 north of Hardy.

Officers spoke with the motel owner, retrieved a key and went to room #4, rented by another man, Russell said. Officers went inside the room and arrested Shackelford.

"There were several drug items in plain view," Russell said. "In the bathroom there was approximately 30 grams of meth. A pipe was found in a green bag that was open laying in a chair. On a nightstand by the bed was another pipe."

Shackelford had led police on a foot chase near Peace Valley Road in Ash Flat after a car chase ensued from an attempted traffic stop on Highway 167 Aug. 22.

After Shackelford abandoned the car and his passenger, Aimee Beth Blansett, police confiscated a medicine bottle containing ice methamphetamine; a corner bag containing clear pill capsules filled with ice methamphetamine; an eye glass case with a small glass pipe with burned residue and a set of digital scales, Zeiger said. Drug Task Force Investigator Katina Pool estimated the street value of the more than 5 ounces of ice methamphetamine at $70,000.

Blansett, 28, of Hardy faces the same charges. Zeiger arrested her after she was abandoned by Shackelford after the chase.

Shackelford and Blansett were on their way to the Sharp County courthouse for a suppression hearing resulting from a drug bust in February 2004 in Ash Flat. Officers had arrested the couple for possession of approximately 40 grams of methamphetamine, Zeiger said.

A motorist called police to notify them of a brown Chevrolet Corsica traveling north on Highway 167 from Evening Shade driving recklessly and crossing the center line. Zeiger spotted the vehicle and followed the vehicle to 167 and Main Street where the car made an unsignaled left turn onto Main Street, cutting off a van that was attempting to turn onto the road as well, he said.

The car began to speed up and made an unsignaled right turn onto Sisney Lane with Zeiger following close behind with lights and sirens. The vehicle reentered Main Street, ran a stop sign and turned west onto Peace Valley Road, Zeiger said.

A city employee who was at the intersection of Peace Valley Road and Evans Road told Zeiger he saw a black bag tossed from the passenger side window and land beside the road at the end of the bridge, Zeiger said.

Sharp County Criminal Investigator John Qualls retrieved the bag and the methamphetamine and paraphernalia inside, Zeiger said.

The vehicle went into the oncoming lane and passed two vehicles on a double yellow line on a curve and hill crest and then turned into a private drive, Zeiger said.

The car continued to the end of the drive then turned right onto a field road and continued to an open field, he said.

Zeiger saw the brake lights of the car activate. Shackelford got out of the car and ran into the woods, Zeiger said.

"I drew my duty pistol and yelled, 'Police, stop, police, stop, freeze,'" Zeiger said.

Shackelford continued running and Blansett got out of the passenger side of the vehicle, Zeiger said.

Blansett told Zeiger and Arkansas State Police officers Phillip Pickett and Mack Thompson that the couple were on their way to court. She told officers that Shackelford was the man who ran, Zeiger said.

"I don't know what's wrong with him; he said he was having trouble with his eyes today on the way up here. I told him to let me drive ... he almost hit a car head on," Blansett told police.

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