According to Clay County Sheriff's Department officials, a deputy attempted to make a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Shannon B. Jeffers, 30, Terre Haute, shortly before 4 a.m., on United States 40, just west of Brazil. However, once the vehicle stopped, Jeffers ran away while allegedly trying to dump packages of methamphetamine.
After a short distance, deputies caught Jeffers and located the discarded methamphetamine.
During a search of the abandoned vehicle, deputies also located a loaded handgun.
Jeffers was taken into custody and transported to the Clay County Justice Center. He was preliminarily booked on possession of methamphetamine, possession of a handgun by a violent felon and resisting law enforcement.
Meanwhile, officials obtained a search warrant for a Staunton residence located at 553 S. Staunton/Monroe Street.
As a result of the search, officials confirmed the discovery of more methamphetamine, another handgun and the makings of a meth lab.
The Indiana State Police Clandestine Lab Team was contacted to safely dismantle the lab, process evidence and clean up the area.
Barnett was booked into the CCJC on preliminary charges of neglect of a dependent, possession of a schedule III narcotic, possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a common nuisance and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.
All three suspects have $25,000 cash bonds (with no 10 percent allowed) and remain incarcerated while awaiting formal court proceedings.
A search of local court documents shows this is not the first time Jeffers or Mathews have found themselves in trouble.
Jeffers has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1998, including convictions for various felony charges for drugs, handgun possession, robbery, battery and resisting law enforcement.
Jeffers most recent run in with the law took place in June. While serving home detention on a prior conviction for possession of methamphetamine, Jeffers refused to leave his Terre Haute home when officers attempted to take him into custody on a warrant issued by the state to revoke his release.
Although no new charges were filed against Jeffers for the incident in June, he was later reprimanded for failing to appear in Vigo County Circuit/Superior Court Div. 3 on Nov. 29. Jeffers was ordered to appear, and did, on Dec. 6, and later released on his own recognizance to await court proceedings on the C felony charge of carrying a handgun without a license (filed Sept. 15, 2007) scheduled for Feb. 14, 2011.
It is unclear at this time if any new charges will be filed by Vigo County because of the new allegations facing Jeffers.
Released from the Indiana Department of Corrections July 3, Mathews has prior convictions in Clay County on felony charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession or use of legend drug and possession of marijuana, has and/or hash oil.
Further information about this incident was unavailable as of press time due to the ongoing investigation. However, Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton confirmed all three cases have been forwarded to the Clay County Prosecutor's Office for further review and may result in additional charges being filed.