A Jan. 12 search warrant served on a home on North Circle Drive in Ash Flat led to four arrests after drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine and marijuana were found. in the home of Jeremy Rodala and Erin Ruff at 57 North Circle Drive in Ash Flat.
Those arrested were Jeremy Rodola, 23, and Erin Ruff, 21, who live in the home, and Misty Dawn (Baldridge) Ellis, 27 and Preston Tyler French, 23. French was wanted on an outstanding felony warrant for residential burglary in Cherokee Village.
The search warrant was issued after Sharp County Deputy Jimmy Bennett and reserve officer Kelly Newcom attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Blake Cross who was reported to be at the Radola residence. While attempting to serve the warrant, the officers observed a loaded syringe, marijuana and other contraband, and sought the search warrant.
Rodala, Ruff and Ellis advised investigators that no one else was in the home. They were told to exit the house as officers waited for the search warrant to arrive. During the wait, Highland Officer Bryan Buchanan was told Tyler French was hiding inside the house. Both Rodola and Ruff told officers there should not be anyone in the house and gave them permission to search for French, and any other "drug or instrument." French was found within the home hiding in a large pile of dirty laundry
French advised officers he was hiding because he was aware of having active felony warrants for his arrest. He then placed his feet on the table containing the syringes, controlled substance and a large knife. Due to his past violent criminal history, officers confirmed his warrants and Buchannon attempted to take French into custody and to jail. The suspect continued to ignore the officers requests and was picked up and moved from the contraband while Newcom assisted in cuffing French.
While being escorted to the car, French taunted the officer and threatened to sue them asking Buchanon, "If I knew who his grandfather was, later stating, (attorney) Larry Kissee." French continued to resist while being walked to the patrol car, yelling at Ellis to call his grandfather to get him out. French was released to Kissee at his last court appearance, without posting a bond on the residential burglary charges.
With French in custody, the officers then dealt with Ellis who was requesting to use her cell phone to check on her children. Other officers on the scene witnessed Ellis pick up French's phone. As she allegedly called to check on her children, Officer Powell stated she was on the phone over 10 minutes and never asked about her children. It was later determined that she lied to the officers, and did have French's phone. Ellis too was described as unruly during her arrest.
During the incident, officers noticed Ruff had moved to the location on the couch where French was sitting after he was removed from the pile of dirty laundry. Due to the amount of confusion in the home, officers advised the remaining suspects to step outside the home in an effort to preserve the evidence. When Ruff stood up, yet another syringe fell from her person and landed on the couch.
Buchanan remained with the subjects as officers executed the search warrant inside the home. Later another syringe that appeared to have been used was found in the kitchen trash. A further search of the trash can yielded several more used syringes, along with prescription pills and signs that pills and methamphetamine had been prepared to ingest intravenously.
At the Sharp County Detention Center, Ellis failed a urine drug test for everything except cocaine, and the other three suspects refused to be tested.
French was arrested on the initial felony bench warrant for residential burglary and theft of property. Additional charges were misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, obstruction of governmental operations, fleeing by foot, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. French's bond was set at $20,000 cash only for the bench warrant, and $1,500 for the misdemeanor charges.
Rodola was arresetd on a felony bench warrant for possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug parphernalia and hindering apprehension. He was also charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Rodola's bond was set at $10,000 cash or professional on the felony charges. Additionally, Rodola faces misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia charges in the incident with a bond of $1,000. Both French and Rodola remain in the Sharp County Detention Center on the charges.
Ruff had two bond amounts as well, a $1,500 bond for felony possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia charges and a $820 bond for misdemeanor charges. Ruff posted bond and was released from custody on Jan. 17.
Ellis was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and hindering apprehension, along with another outstanding warrant. She also has a $1,500 bond set for misdemeanor charges which include possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia and refusal to submit to arrest.
All four suspects, and Cross appeared before Circuit Judge Harold Erwin Jan. 16. French appeared also on three cases for petition to revoke bond. Ellis opted to go to rehabilitation center and left jail for the Quality Living Center with a representative of the center.