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Four due in court next week on drug trafficking charges after hotel room search


A narcotics search warrant served March 26 at a room at the Baymont Inn in West Plains has resulted in felony drug charges filed against four area residents.

Julie M. Nickels, 47, Thayer; Heather P. Stouffer, 43, and Daniel J. Alderliesten, 25, both of West Plains; and Amy L. Smith, 52, Tecumseh, were each charged with four counts of delivery of a controlled substance.

Each was held on a $100,000, according to court records, which also show Nickels bonded out the following day; Stouffer posted bond April 2; Smith was released on her own recognizance, or promise to appear in court as scheduled; and Alderliesten remains in custody. Smith was released after Sheriff Brent Campbell called prosecutors and asked for her release due to a medical condition, and prosecutors agreed, the docket shows.

West Plains Police Cpl. Thomas Manning reported that at about 8:16 p.m. Tuesday, he and other officers announced they were at the hotel room to execute a search warrant, and all inside were ordered to leave the room and detained.

Manning and Officer Jacob Brixey conducted the search and reportedly found multiple items of drug paraphernalia, including three spoons and a straw with residue on them and seven used syringes. Also confiscated were about 70 capsules containing a substance suspected to be fentanyl, four jars of “toilet water,” six pills suspected to be Lorazepam, multiple plastic baggies, 12 pills suspected to be Diazepam, three pills suspected to be Carisoprodol, a bag of crystallized shards that field-tested positive for methamphetamine, a tourniquet, two pill containers with suspected fentanyl capsules in them and a jar containing an unknown liquid. It is not explained in the probable cause statement what the “toilet water” listed is, whether the jars contained water from a toilet or a turn of phrase that is sometimes used for “eau de toilette,” a lightly scented perfume.

Nickels and Stouffer are scheduled to make an initial appearance Monday morning before 37th Judicial Associate Circuit Court Judge R. David Ray. Smith is also due in court that day for a counsel status hearing, the docket shows, having already made her initial appearance March 29 and pleading not guilty during arraignment. Alderliesten also made his initial appearance on March 29 before Ray and pleaded not guilty; he his scheduled to appear Tuesday morning in Ray’s court for a preliminary hearing, court records show.

No attorney is listed in public records as representing Nickels. Special Public Defender Kenneth Leslie Dominic of Cabool is representing Stouffer, Assistant Public Defender Jack Paisley is representing Alderliesten, and Special Public Defender Rickey Farrow is representing Smith, records show.

Stouffer and Alderliesten's cases are being prosecuted by Howell County Prosecutor Mike Hutchings and Assistant Prosecutor Heath Hardman, while Smith and Nickels' cases are being prosecuted by Hardman.