A West Plains man who allegedly told police that marijuana, a marijuana-derived product and prescription drugs were "how he provided for his family" has been charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance and a count each of delivery of a controlled substance and unlawful use of a weapon by possessing a weapon and a controlled substance.
A warrant with $25,000 bond has been issued for Matthew Benjamin Amrhein, 23, Hub
ert Redburn Drive, according to court records. The charges are based on the results of a May 8 investigation of a minor traffic incident.
Officer Conner Burnes, in a report submitted to prosecutors, stated he was dispatched to a motor vehicle crash at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and West Abe Taylor Street. The caller told dispatch a red vehicle pulled out in front of him, then went off the road and hit a stop sign before pulling in at a home in Lincoln Avenue.
When he arrived on scene, Burnes saw the stop sign was leaning and there was red paint on the side of it, and took evidence photos of it. Burnes reported he then went to a home on Lincoln Avenue where he saw a red Hyundai parked and Amrhein walking from the car, and approached Amrhein to tell him why he was there.
Amrhein reportedly said he did not remember hitting a stop sign, but agreed to go look at it, and Burnes said he noticed a mark on Amrhein's vehicle that matched the mark on the stop sign but Amrhein denied there was any new damage to the car.
As he spoke to Amrhein, Burnes reported he could smell the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, and that Amrhein said he did not smoke marijuana or have a medical marijuana card. However, the officer stated he observed the suspect showing signs of drug use including constricted pupils, slow and slurred speech and difficulty walking. When a search was conducted on the vehicle one morphine pill and one Gabapentin pill, both prescription drugs and classified as controlled substances, were found, Burnes alleged.
Additionally, Burnes reported, a locked safe and a smoking device that smelled of marijuana and burnt marijuana was found in the vehicle; it had allegedly been rolled into a "roach" (the tip of a marijuana cigarette left over after smoking).
The safe reportedly contained a firearm, holster and magazine containing six rounds; one hydrocodone pill; a bag containing 38.84 grams (1.37 ounces) of a green, leafy substance found to be cannabis; 6.44 grams (0.23 ounces) of wax made with THC, cannabis’ psychoactive agent; 102 flualprazolam pills, a substance chemically similar to Xanax that effects the central nervous system in much the same way and is commonly used as a recreational drug; a Fuzion Rogue 200 digital scale; 16 empty Swisher Sweets packs; an empty pack of cigar wraps; eight full and one half packs of Swisher Sweets Wild Rush; two bags containing smaller baggies; a small metal hammer-like item; an envelope with "debt David 70" written on it; and an iStoked vape pen.
Amrhein allegedly later admitted to having used marijuana about three hours prior to the stop and told Burnes that "what was inside the safe is how he provided for his family," also reportedly telling Burnes he did not have prescriptions for the medications found.