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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cooler sends man to cooler

Friday, October 17, 2008

Richard Dale Messenger Jr.
Around 3 p.m., Oct. 8, First National Banking Company (FNBC) employees started what they thought was a normal banking transaction but it turned out to be a little more.

According to Ash Flat Police Chief Mike Zeiger, three men, later identified as Jimmy Mayberry Jr., James Mayberry Sr. and Richard Dale Messenger Jr., entered FNBC's main branch in Ash Flat carrying back packs, a cooler and a coffee can. The subjects approached the counter and asked the teller to cash in the pennies they had in the containers.

When the teller took the containers with the change to the change counter in back, she opened the cooler and discovered a wallet, belonging to Messenger and an eye glass pouch with what she thought appeared to be drug paraphernalia. Rita Newman, FNBC's security officer, contacted the police. Chief Zeiger and Officer Mary Wanley responded.

According to the report, when Zeiger and Wanley arrived they met Newman at the back door to avoid being seen by the suspects. One of the suspects asked the teller if he could have his eyeglass case from the cooler and she stalled him telling him it would be a few minutes.

"Inside the eyeglass pouch was paraphernalia I knew to be used for shooting methamphetamines," Zeiger said. According to the report, Zeiger and Wanley found a spoon, a partial spoon, two syringes, a clear baggie with pink residue inside, two lighters and two pieces of cotton, one with pink residue.

Newman told Zeiger that the three suspects had moved outside of the bank and were standing in the foyer.

According to Zeiger, he had Wanley call the sherriff's department for back-up while he contacted dispatch to run a record check on Messenger.

Zeiger said Messenger had an outstanding Sharp County warrant for residential burglary and a Randolph County parole hold. "Randolph County had him in their possession and he ran, getting away with their cuffs," Zeiger said.

Chief Deputy David Huffmaster and Chief Investigator Mark Counts arrived at the scene.

The officers took Messenger and Mayberry Jr. into custody while Officer Counts questioned Mayberry Sr., the eldest of the three men. According to the report, Counts informed Zeiger that Messenger had attempted to run from the officers.

When questioned, Mayberry Jr. said he did not know where the money came from and refused to give any viable information, but did give the officers permission to search his vehicle.

According to the report, Zeiger found an X-Box 360 and four games in the vehicle. When Zeiger asked Mayberry Jr. where the game system came from Mayberry Jr. said he did not know. Zeiger seized the game system as suspected stolen property.

Mayberry Jr. and Messenger were then taken to the Sharp County Jail while Mayberry Sr. followed in his own vehicle. According to the report, when Mayberry Jr. was placed in a holding cell he asked why he was under arrest. Zeiger told him it was because he had carried a cooler into the bank with drug paraphernalia in it. "It's not mine," Mayberry Jr. told Zeiger.

When Huffmaster asked Messenger if he had anything he wanted to tell them, Messenger said, "It's all mine, Jimmy didn't have anything to do with it. I just used him and his dad for transportation."

According to the report, after Messenger admitted to the paraphernalia being his, Mayberry Jr. was released to his father.

Zeiger said the paraphernalia found appeared to be used to inject methamphetamines. The department is also investigating the $277.10 worth of pennies the subjects had. "We think it is probably stolen," Zeiger said.

According to Zeiger, the bank had already began to exchange the pennies, so the police department took the cash the pennies equalled along with the game system and it will be held for suspicion of stolen property until the end of the investigation.

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