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Busted! Cuba man caught near meth lab

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Posted: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 12:00 am

BOURBON – A wanted man with more than a dozen criminal convictions was taken into custody last week after authorities discovered him near an active meth lab outside a residence on Old Route 66 between Bourbon and Leasburg. Randy Hodges, 36, of Cuba was apprehended Wednesday, Nov. 17, after trying to flee from law enforcement officers, according to Franklin County Detective Scott Briggs. The well-known fugitive was wanted by several jurisdictions for drug offenses, parole violation and resisting arrest by flight. He is currently being held in the Crawford County Jail on $25,000 bond with additional charges pending.

A combined effort of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, Cuba Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Lake Area Narcotics Task Force resulted in Hodges’ capture. Hodges had fled from law enforcement officers on several different occasions and said he was not going back to prison. He also was known to be armed and violent. Due to the potential for escape as well as his threats of violence, the Franklin County Emergency Response Team was called to help approach the residence where Hodges was reportedly hiding.

Prior to Hodges’ arrest, authorities observed him using items from an active meth lab outside the residence, Briggs said. Hodges took off on foot when he saw law enforcement officers, but was apprehended in a field roughly a quarter-mile from the home.

In addition to the meth lab found outside the residence, authorities discovered marijuana growing inside the home and several harvested marijuana plants, Briggs said. The Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Unit cleaned up the meth lab and safely disposed of the materials.

Hodges has a long list of criminal offenses dating back several years. He was most recently charged in October with felonies for distributing and manufacturing a controlled substance and resisting arrest, Crawford County court records show. Earlier this year, he also was charged in Crawford County with felonies for possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest, as well as misdemeanors for unlawful use of drug paraphernalia and traffic offenses.

In 2007, felony charges – and subsequent guilty pleas – to resisting arrest and second-degree assault garnered Hodges four years of jail time in the Missouri Department of Corrections, Crawford County court documents indicate. He also served jail time in 2004 after pleading guilty to resisting arrest, third-degree assault, assault on a law enforcement officer and endangering the welfare of a child, additional Crawford County court records show. Later that year, he entered an Alford plea to a felony charge of resisting arrest and was sentenced to three years in jail, court dockets indicate.

In 2002, Hodges pleaded guilty to Crawford County felony charges of possession of a controlled substance and operating a vehicle on the highway without a valid license and was sentenced to three years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, court documents show. A year before that, he was sentenced to 365 days in jail after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor for resisting arrest.

Hodges also has been charged and pleaded guilty to a number of crimes in Franklin County. In 2000, he pleaded guilty to felony charges of possession of a controlled substance and operating a vehicle on the highway while his license was revoked. He was then sentenced to three years in jail, Franklin County court records show.

A guilty plea in 2001 to a misdemeanor for resisting arrest landed him in jail for 180 days, Franklin County court dockets indicate.

In 2003, he entered an Alford plea to felony charges in Franklin County for possession of a controlled substance, first-degree property damage and operating a motor vehicle on the highway while his license was revoked. He was subsequently sentenced to three years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, court records show.

That same year he pleaded guilty to felonies for distributing and manufacturing a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance, Franklin County Court documents say. He was sentenced to seven years in jail, but ordered to serve 335 days shock time.

Hodges also pleaded guilty in Franklin County to a number of resisting arrest and assault charges between 1998 and 2000.

(Managing Editor Jaime Mowers can be reached at 860-NEWS or by e-mail at editor@sullivanjournal.com)

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