The Howell County Sheriff's Department is investigating an incident in which a Salem man said he was stopped while driving through Lanton, Mo., by a man posing as a law enforcement officer.
Phil Olson told Fulton County authorities he was taking a load of cattle to the sale barn in West Plains Nov. 13, when a man in a dark blue police-type vehicle, possibly a Ford Crown Victoria, with red and blue lights in the grill, stopped him near Lanton.
Reports say that Olson said the man was wearing a law enforcement type badge and told him people were not allowed to haul cattle from Arkansas into Missouri without the proper approval. Olson said the man told him he would have to pay a $115 fine, and that the fine had to be paid to him in cash; he said he could not accept a check for the fine.
Olson went to the Fulton County Sheriff's Office the next day to speak to them about the incident. Those officials contacted the Howell County Sheriff's Department who is conducting the investigation.
"No matter where you are," Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger said, "never pay a fine to an officer who has just stopped you. That's not the way things are done. You may have to drive to the Sheriff's Office to pay it, but they'll always give you a receipt."