The Highland Police Department, in conjunction with several federal law enforcement agencies and other local police departments, took 12 people into custody Friday morning on a variety of narcotics charges. Dubbed “Operation Street Sweeper,” the HPD-led sweep began shortly after 8:30 a.m. in Highland, Grantfork, Collinsville, Belleville and St. Louis, Mo.
Authorities said the sweep was the result of separate investigations that had been ongoing for the past several months, and the largest ever organized and conducted by the Highland Police Department. Police reported no injuries to either law enforcement officials or those being sought during the operation.
By noon, authorities had netted all but one of the people they were looking for. However, police were unable to locate Shawn R. Masterson, 22, pictured right of Highland during the sweep. It’s believed Masterson may be en route to South Carolina and is driving a 2000 white Jeep Grand Cherokee with license number 46 350Y. Police said that he should be considered armed and dangerous, and should someone spot him, they should call police.
Those arrested Friday are alleged to have manufactured and distributed a variety of narcotics, including cannabis, methamphetamines, heroin and more obscure hallucinogenic drugs. Those arrested included:
- Robert L. Brummitt, 30, of Highland — one count of unlawful delivery of cannabis and one count of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance; collective bond was set at $105,000.
- Gerald C. Barkley, 28, of Highland — one count of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance; bond was set at $30,000.
- Justin M. Martin, 22, of Highland — one count of unlawful delivery of cannabis; bond was set at $20,000.
- Katlin J. Landmann, 24, of Grantfork — one count of unlawful delivery of cannabis and two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance; collective bond was set at $155,000.
- Louis W. Staley, 26, of Collinsville — one count of unlawful delivery of 30-500 grams of cannabis; bond was set at $30,000.
- Logan A. Spellmeyer, 22, of St. Louis, Mo. — three counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance; collective bond was set at $105,000.
- Scott G. Mcreaken, 19, of Highland — two counts of unlawful delivery of a look-alike substance; collective bond was set at $60,000.
- Travis W. King, 19, of Highland — two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance; collective bond was set at $60,000.
All eight men, with the exception of Spellmeyer, who was arrested in St. Louis by U.S. Marshals and is awaiting extradition to Illinois, were later taken to the Madison County Jail.
Assisting Highland police in the operation were members of the U.S. Marshal’s Service; the federal Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF); the Illinois State Police Meth Team; the Madison County Sheriff’s Department; the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS); the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Police later explained that an ICE agent had been brought in to handle potential felony materials involved with King’s arrest. According to investigators leading the case, King had allegedly been manufacturing Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a naturally occurring, psychedelic compound in part by extracting the compound from tree bark that had been imported illegally from Africa. During King’s arrest, police said they discovered an expansive DMT laboratory in King’s home. Police said that additional charges could be pending in the matter.
Police also took several other individuals into custody not on their list of warrants. Police did not release those persons’ names, because formal charges had yet to be filed. However, Highland Police Chief Terry Bell said HPD the charges collectively being sought against them would include two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance, eight misdemeanor drug charges and two counts of minors in possession of alcohol.
Madison County State’s Attorney Thomas D. Gibbons was on scene with police during the operation and reaffirmed his firm anti-drug stance in the wake of a re-emergence of heroin in the Metro-East.
“I am proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with law enforcement in the fight against the scourge of heroin infecting our community. I commend Chief Bell and the Highland Police Department for their hard work and dogged determination in fighting this war against the criminals who would bring this poison here,” said Gibbons.
“Today’s efforts represent a major victory in the battle to keep our communities safe from illegal narcotics trafficking. Today’s efforts are positive proof that the work of the Highland Police Department is paying big dividends for the safety of the citizens of Highland. With the teamwork of local, state and federal law enforcement, prosecutors and our coroner, we can win this fight. As state’s attorney, I am committed to seeing justice done for the people of Highland.”
Chief Bell said that he was proud of his department’s lengthy investigation into those arrested and was pleased with Friday’s outcome. Bell also noted that residents in Highland and elsewhere in Madison County play pivotal roles in helping police protect their communities.
“This is still a very safe community, but we need to be vigilant to make sure we keep it that way,” said Bell. “We will continue to be relentless in pursuing any criminal element that wants to set up shop in Highland. We will turn over every rock necessary to reveal the criminal element among us.”
The Highland Police Department also extended its gratitude to several city businesses and concerned citizens for what they called “community policing,” which helped police keep track of suspicious activity in different neighborhoods.
“Without these types of partnerships, we are far less effective and we are grateful for all the support we have received,” said Bell.
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.