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Three charged in federal drug ring after Jefferson City manhunt

Three people were charged with distributing meth after leading Jefferson City Police, Cole County Sheriff’s deputies, and Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers on a manhunt in west Jefferson City Friday.

ABC 17 reported Friday two people were arrested after they led JCPD on a high speed chase into a rock quarry near Binder Lake Park. One of the suspects ran off on foot, causing a massive search effort.

The case was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Agency Friday.

40-year-old David Rodebaugh, 31-year-old Michael Pearson, and 23-year-old Hernan Hurtado were all charged in separate complaints on Saturday.

Rodebaugh has been under investigation by the MUSTANG Drug Task Force since 2003 for drug trafficking.

Rodebaugh and Pearson were charged with one count each of possession of meth with intent to distribute, and one count of participating in a conspiracy to possess meth with intent to distribute.

Hurtado was charged with one count of distributing methamphetamine.

Rodebaugh and Pearson met with Hurtado in the Capital Mall parking lot, according to the affidavit.

Pearson then took a plastic bag from Hurtado’s truck and put it in the back seat of the Acura he and Rodebaugh drove to the mall.

Pearson was driving the Acura with Rodebaugh when they left the mall, and police tried to stop them. From that point, the two led police on a high-speed chase before crashing into the rock quarry near Catalina Drive and Cross Key Court.

Pearson ran off an escaped authorities for a few hours, while Rodebaugh was taken into custody after staying inside the car.

Investigators later found the plastic bag containing about 5 pounds of meth, which Rodebaugh admitted to throwing out of the car about 75 yards from where the Acura crashed.

On Friday afternoon, Hurtado called Jefferson City Police to say he had been robbed of $6,000 at his home. He voluntarily came to the police station where he was questioned and arrested.

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