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Hotel altercation leads to drug and firearm arrest

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A canoe trip in Spring River country landed two people in jail on drug and weapons charges last weekend.

According to a probable cause affidavit issued by Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce, on June 17 Hardy Police Chief Ernie Rose was called to investigate a disturbance at a room at the Hardy Best Western Motel.

Rose responded and found a customer, later identified as Rachel Morphis, fighting with hotel employee Joella Hester. Morphis was arrested and taken to the Sharp County Jail.

Another female, Jennifer Brawner, who was also in the room but not involved in the altercation, told Rose she had witnessed Morphis with possible drug paraphernalia. Brawner told officials the item was located in the room. After being brought to the Sharp County Sheriff's Department, Brawner signed an affidavit corroborating the proof of drug paraphernalia in the room.

A search warrant was obtained by the Third Judicial Drug Task force for the motel room. The paraphernalia was recovered, as well as an Intratec 9mm pistol, loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition, located in suspect Rudolph Anthony Zbasnik's belongings.

An agent also recovered 10 grams of marijuana, two grams of methamphetamine, $150 in cash and a 2003 Chevrolet truck.

Zbasnik was charged June 21 with simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, a Class Y felony, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, methamphetamine, a Class Y felony and possession of a controlled substance, marijuana.

Zbasnik's bond was set at $30,000. He bonded out June 21 and is awaiting his first court appearance.

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