Poplar Bluff police officers seized nearly 20 "buttons," as well as 12 grams, of the suspected heroin from a "known, upper-level narcotics distributor/heroin supplier," identified as Reggie Lee Loyd, according to Detective Jason Morgan. That amount is a "substantial quantity; it's a big quantify for here."
Police Chief Danny Whiteley agreed.
Officers, Morgan said, have been "receiving information for quite some time" about Loyd's alleged activities.
"He's been a target of narcotics investigations for the past year," Morgan said.
At about 6 p.m. Tuesday, Morgan said, he and officer Steve McCane saw Loyd operating a silver 2006 Cadillac eastbound on County Road 306, located off of Highway 53, about two miles south of Poplar Bluff.
Loyd, Morgan said, crossed Highway 53 and continued traveling eastbound onto County Road 608.
Having prior knowledge of Loyd's driver's license being revoked, Morgan said, they conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of County Road 608 and County Road 607 on Loyd's car for suspected speeding and driving while revoked.
Morgan said he and McCane contacted Loyd, as well as his passengers, Dustin Charles Boyer and a 16-year-old female.
Morgan said Loyd was asked to exit the car, and "when he got out I saw it" ... a "button" of suspected heroin lying in the driver's seat.
The button was seized, and the substance inside the capsule was field-tested, "showing a positive response for the presence of heroin," Morgan said.
Warrant checks were done on both Loyd and Boyer, and it was learned Loyd was wanted on a Poplar Bluff failure to appear warrant for driving while suspended and a Butler County warrant for driving while revoked/suspended. Boyer was wanted on a Butler County warrant for possession of a controlled substance.
After the warrants were confirmed, Morgan said, Loyd and Boyer were arrested.
In searching Boyer's person following his arrest, Morgan said, 19 buttons containing suspected heroin and 12 empty buttons (capsules) were found in the 18-year-old's ball cap.
The alleged contraband was found hidden in a zipped compartment inside the front of Boyer's cap, Morgan explained.
"During an inventory search of the vehicle prior to impound, per (departmental) policy, 12 grams of heroin were located concealed in the vehicle," said Morgan, who is assigned to the SEMO Drug Task Force.
According to Morgan, there were several ball caps in the back seat on the driver's side, including one with a zipped hidden compartment.
Inside that compartment, Morgan said, officers found a plastic bag, which held another plastic bag containing 12 grams of a white powder substance believed to be heroin.
Additional bags contained four suspected Alprazolam tablets, a "hit of acid/ LSD" and a small quantity of suspected marijuana, said Morgan, who described this as the "first time I've seen LSD since I've been here."
Whiteley agreed LSD is not common; "we had LSD back a long time ago."
Morgan said one tablet of the prescription drug suboxone, which is used to treat opiate dependency, was "laying in there loose," as were four empty capsules, containing suspected heroin residue.
Loyd, 25, of Neelyville, Mo., and Boyer of the 100 block of County Rod 607 also were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to distribute, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child stemming from the 16-yearold being with them.
Loyd also was arrested on suspicion of driving while revoked. Both men were booked at the Butler County jail.
The juvenile, Morgan said, was released to a relative and juvenile authorities were notified.
Morgan said Loyd's car was seized and taken to the police department's garage, pending the application of a search warrant.
Upon executing that warrant, Morgan said, he and McCane found nothing else of evidentiary value inside the car.
At the time of his arrest, Loyd was serving a fiveyear term of supervised probation after having pleaded guilty in August 2010 to the Class D felony of possession of pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture in Butler County.
Having also pleaded guilty in August 2010 to two Class C felonies of possession of a controlled substance and the Class D felony of resisting arrest, Loyd is on five-years' supervised probation through Shannon County.
"As a result of this investigation, we expect further arrests to emanate from it," said Whiteley, who reiterated what he earlier has said about "drugs, such as heroin, (which are) more commonly used and distributed in large cities, like St. Louis and Memphis, making their way to Poplar Bluff.
"...Heroin is not limited to big cities anymore; it's made its way to the rural areas of Southeast Missouri."
As previously also stated, Whiteley said, officers "know who some of them are; they are targets for arrest and prosecution."
Whiteley said officers have identified several sources of the heroin, "from the distribution points to the local dealers."
Officers, Whiteley said, will use "all available resources to put the individuals in prison, and hopefully, we can, along with state charges, prosecute some federally."
Having officers assigned to the SEMO Drug Task Force and Drug Enforcement Administration's Division Task Force ensures "we have the manpower and funding to investigate these types of drug violations," Whiteley said.
Officers, according to Whiteley, also have seen an increase in violence as a result of suspected heroin coming into town.
"We know of some serious overdoses, and if, and when, we can put together a case of a heroin overdose leading to a death, we will ask for the charge of murder for the dealer," Whiteley said.