Eldon Man Sentenced for Meth Conspiracy, Attempted Jail Escape

3 years 5 months 2 days ago January 24, 2014 Jan 24, 2014 Friday, January 24 2014 Friday, January 24, 2014 12:38:00 PM CST in News
By: Katie Kiebles, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY- An Eldon resident will spend the next 20 years in federal prison for his role in a large-scale conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine as well as his attempted jail escape.

In August, Mitchell Atterberry pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, conspiracy to escape from custody, and attempted escape from custody.

In November 2010, officers seized a total of 8.19 grams of meth and $6,050 while executing two search warrants.

In June 2011, authorities said Atterberry led a high-speed chase, reaching speeds of up to 100 miles per hour and was finally arrested. Officers found 2.04 grams of methamphetamine and $8,190 in six separate envelopes, including what appeared to be a drug ledger, in Atterberry's motorcycle.

In February 2012, Atterberry was pulled over for a routine traffic stop and proceeded to flee, resulting in another high-speed pursuit with speeds up to 160 miles per hour. Authorities said Atterberry fled from his vehicle and was apprehended after a brief chase on foot. Officers found .29 of a gram of methamphetamine and $2,986.

In May 2012, Atterberry was pulled over and officers found 13.02 grams of methamphetamine, a loaded .40-caliber Hi Point pistol, $2,234 and $900 in counterfeit currency.

The total methamphetamine seized from Atterberry during the course of the investigation is 54.14 grams as well as $20,939.

In November 2012, Deputies discovered the cell window had been damaged in Atterberry's cell at the Morgan County Jail. The metal support beam had been cut most of the way through. They also found a 10-inch saw blade in the mat on the top bunk of the cell and a smaller two-inch saw blade that appeared to have broken off the larger blade.

Authorities then reviewed phone calls that Atterberry and his cellmate, Steven Pyykola, made to co-defendant Amanda Leigh Lesh, 35, of Jefferson City. Authorities found that Lesh was asked to purchase and deliver the blades that were found in their cell. Lesh also made references to picking up the two after the escape and buying them clothes to wear.

In a recorded telephone conversation, Atterberry told Lesh that they "worked on it late last night, couldn't get it done" and in a later call that day said they hoped to get it done "by tonight." Authorities then received the tip about the escape plans the next day.

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