Caulfield drug dealer sentenced after $20,000 meth stash found at his house

John William Bass

An Ozark County man accused of trafficking large amounts of crystal methamphetamine was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Circuit Judge Craig Carter during the Oct. 9 session of Ozark County Law Day. John William Bass, 52, of Caulfield, pleaded guilty to trafficking a controlled substance in connection with a case filed after $20,000 worth of crystal meth was discovered at his residence during the execution of a July 22 search warrant. Officers also reportedly found empty bags, metric scales and other paraphernalia commonly used in processing and selling meth. 

During the hearing, Bass also admitted to violating probation in three other cases for which he is currently on probation. The probation terms are in connection with a case in which Bass pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance and assault on Nov. 9, 2016, and was given a suspended execution of sentence and ordered to complete a 120-day institutional drug treatment program. He was placed on supervised probation for a term of five years and completed the program Sept. 26, 2018. 

Carter ordered the original 10-year back-up sentences in those cases to be executed but to run concurrently with the new 10-year sentence, meaning Bass is ordered to serve a total of 10 years in all four cases. 

According to the probable cause statement in the case prepared by Ozark County Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Curtis Dobbs, officers executed a search warrant on the Bass house at 1988 Gene Bean Drive in Caulfield in connection with information that Howell County officers obtained during a burglary case in their county. 

The report said the Howell County officers contacted Ozark County officers on July 19 after they received a report of a burglary in Caulfield. The missing items included hand tools, a welder, a single-axle trailer, a tractor battery, tackle boxes, fishing equipment, chainsaws, a tall battery charger, stereo, rings and other jewelry and other household items. 

Two days later, a person arrested on an unrelated Ozark County warrant told officers he or she had information regarding burglaries in Howell County. 

After signing a Miranda warning waiver, the arrested individual told Dobbs that he or she was with a friend on July 19 when the friend met with Bass at his residence in Caulfield. During the meeting, the arrested individual said, the friend gave Bass several items taken from a residence in Howell County in exchange for an “eight ball,” or an eighth of an ounce of methamphetamine. 

The arrested person told the officers  he or she witnessed Bass exchanging meth for stolen goods on several occasions and that both the stolen items and the drugs were kept at the Bass house. 

At 6 p.m. July 22, Ozark County officers executed a search warrant that included permission to search the residence, structures and vehicles located at the house. In one room, three medium-sized baggies containing a white crystal substance, empty baggies, a metric scale and other paraphernalia were seen on top of a dresser. A methamphetamine field-testing device indicated the white substance was meth. On a non-certified scale, the three bags had a total weight of approximately 3.4 ounces, which equates to a total of over 98 grams. 

Dobbs wrote in his report, “The methamphetamine recovered was apparently pure and, in my opinion, has a street retail value approaching $20,000 (98 grams doubled by cutting and then sold at $100 per gram).”

During the search, Bass contacted Dobbs through a friend and agreed to come back to his residence and turn himself in. When he arrived at the house, Dobbs asked where the items were that he received from the friend the witness had described. Bass surrendered the items, which were located in a bedroom and in the trunk of a vehicle. 

Bass told the officers his wife had nothing to do with the stolen items or the methamphetamine and that “they were his.”

Ozark County Times

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