Lawson man arrested for drugs, forgery after multi-county police pursuit

3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago Friday, September 25 2020 Sep 25, 2020 Friday, September 25, 2020 9:55:00 AM CDT September 25, 2020 in News
By: Avery Everett, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

MONITEAU COUNTY - One man is in custody after a police pursuit through mid-Missouri Wednesday. 

Matthew Scovell, 40, of Lawson, was arrested for delivery of a controlled substance, forgery, resisting arrest, driving while suspended, tampering with physical evidence in a felony prosecution and operating a motor vehicle in a careless manner. 

Deputies of both the Moniteau County and Cole County Sheriff's Offices and the Boonville Police Department pursued Scovell's vehicle Wednesday. The police pursuit crossed county lines and continued through California, into Cooper County and ending in Boonville. 

In a news release, the Moniteau County Sheriff said deputies saw Scovell throwing items out of his vehicle, which were later found and tested positive for methamphetamines. 

At the time of the pursuit, Scovell also had several felony warrants out for his arrest. The sheriff said deputies also recovered fake $100 bills from Scovell.  

Moniteau County Sheriff, Tony Wheatley, described in the news release that this situation is "another example of the failure in our Department of Corrections System." 

He noted that in both 2015 and 2017 Schovell was convicted for the possession of a controlled substance. Wheatley describes this as the "catch and release program" and condemned its use for not being effective. 

"By thus individual being released back into society on probation/ parole after his last conviction puts officers and citizen's lives at risk," Wheatley said in the release. 

Wheatley estimated that 40 percent of the arrests in Moniteau County are people who are actively on probation or parole. 

"To tell you the truth, we are getting sick and tired of chasing these individuals down and catching them just to have them released back onto the streets to terrorize our citizens a short time later," Wheatley said in the release. "I believe in giving someone a second chance in life, but there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough. This incident could have turned out badly as the suspect ran vehicles off the roadway and almost caused more than one accident which could have injured or killed innocent citizens in three separate counties." 

Wheatley called for local law enforcement and the sentencing judge and prosecutor to have some input on the release of an inmate so a full history can be taken into account.

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