The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.


Published November 8, 2023

Traffic stop ends in drug arrest

OSAGE BEACH – Last week The Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force issued a press release on a drug arrest that took place on October 25.

During the early afternoon hours of Wednesday, October 25, a detective with the Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force stopped a vehicle on Highway 54 eastbound at Route KK in Osage Beach that was driven by Douglas Ritchey, of Osage Beach, MO.

The Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force was assisted by the Osage Beach Police Department and the Eldon Police Department’s K-9 unit.

According to the Mid Missouri Drug Task Force, during a probable cause search, approximately 111.5 doses of controlled substance pharmaceuticals were located including oxycodone, amphetamine salts, methadone, suboxone, and alprazolam (Xanax).
Ritchey was arrested and charged with the following:

According to the probable Cause Statement (PCS) this is what happened:

“On October 25th, 2023, at approximately 1156 hours, I stopped a vehicle on US 54 eastbound at the exit to Route KK in Osage Beach, MO. The vehicle was stopped for following too close, cutting in on overtaken traffic, and for crossing the solid white fog line by making an unsafe sudden lane change to exit at Route KK after missing the designated exit lane.

“Prior to the stop I had noticed the vehicle pulled into Taco Bell in the city limits of Camdenton. The vehicle pulled behind the business and parked, while meeting with a subject there. The driver of the vehicle never went inside the business or the drive through. I know this is common behavior of subjects conducting narcotics transactions in public places.

“During the enforcement contact with the driver (and lone occupant), identified as Douglas Ritchey, I noticed various factors that lead me to suspect criminal activity was afoot based on my prior experience and extensive training in criminal interdiction.

“I learned Ritchey was an opioid user but claimed he had been clean for a length of time at this point. When discussing the possibility of narcotics being present in the vehicle, Ritchey ultimately denied this, but he looked back at the vehicle and his breathing became more labored than previously. I recognized this as signs of deception from my prior training and experience.

“Consent to search the vehicle was denied. Cpl. T. McClelland of the Eldon Police Department responded and deployed K9 Maverick, who gave a positive alert to the presence of narcotics. I again spoke with Ritchey after the vehicle sniff and he admitted that he had Percocet in the bag on the front passenger seat. Ritchey was placed under arrest at 1241 hours.

“I located the following items during a probable cause search;
- 71 white ovals pills with the imprint “M523 10/325” identified as oxycodone
- 9 rectangular pills with the imprint R039, identified as alprazolam
- 8 octagon pills with the imprint M 30, identified as amphetamine
- 1 whole, and one half of a round pill with the imprint MP447, identified as amphetamine
-4 round pills with the imprint 54 24, identified as methadone
- 18 aluminum packets (3 opened and 15 sealed) that were labeled as containing buprenorphine sublingual films.

“Given the number of pills, particularly the oxycodone pills, I know from prior training and experience that this is much more than typically possessed by someone who is only using the drug but also consistent with someone distributing the drug.

“During a mirandized roadside interview while waiting on Ritchey’s mother to arrive and get the vehicle, Ritchey admitted that he drove to St. Louis recently and purchased approximately $300 worth of oxycodone pills.”

He was given a bond of $5,000 Cash or $50,000 Surety Bond.

The Cash Bond was paid last Monday (October 30). A court date of November 27 was issued by the judge.

All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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