The chase continued toward Black Rock at speeds in excess of 100 mph. Officers tried unsuccessfully to use spike strips to disable the vehicle at 11:14 pm, the vehicle then turned on Hwy 117 toward Smithville. At this time Sgt. Rocky Chappell joined the pursuit. The deputies noticed the suspect was throwing things out of the window and it was striking the deputies patrol vehicle; the items appeared to be drugs and were hitting the deputies windshields. The suspect also tossed out a backpack out that was recovered by Deputy Duston Walker. Once in Smithville, the suspect vehicle turned north on Hwy 115 back toward Imboden. The chase was joined by a third Lawrence County Deputy, Officer Duston Walker. The driver continued to throw what appeared to be drugs out the window as well as beer bottles.
As the chase went through Annieville, the suspect threw what appeared to be a large amount of money out the window as well. Deputies radioed ahead and the Ravenden Police and Arkansas State Police set up spike strips in front of the Sloan Hendrix Gym on Hwy 115. Shortly after the suspect ran over the spike strips as he entered the Imboden City Limits. The vehicle once again turned on Hwy 63 heading east toward Black Rock but wrecked out just outside of Imboden.
The suspect attempted to flee the wrecked vehicle once it came to rest, officers told the suspect he would be tasered if he did not comply, which he did not, officers deployed tasers. The suspect was taken into custody. Dailâ€™s Wrecker was called the scene to remove the vehicle. Once the suspect was in custody he was taken to the Lawrence County Jail and deputies started the long task of recovering all the evidence from the car chase. Deputies recovered a large amount of money from the roadside in Annieville, the backpack recovered by Officer Walker contained what appeared to be Marijuana, Meth, Sudafed, syringes and drug paraphernalia. Officers recovered the Drivers License and Insurance information from the roadside where the chase began. The vehicle once searched contained a large amount of cash, a handgun and what investigators are calling a large amount of â€œIceâ€ a type of methamphetamine. Deputies also recovered a large amount of Meth from the roadside, thrown out during the vehicle pursuit.
Officers worked until early morning, collecting evidence and statements. Lawrence County Sheriffâ€™s Office was assisted by the Hoxie Police, Ravenden Police Department as well as the Arkansas State Police.
Michael Meilke (10/07/73) of Batesville was taken into custody and transported to the Lawrence County Jail to await a bond hearing. Meilke was charged with fleeing, possession of a controlled substance (meth ice), possession of a controlled substance (marijuana), possession of drug paraphernalia, simultaneous possession of drugs and a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, reckless driving, possession of controlled substances with intent to deliver and resisting arrest. Bond was set at $150,000 and a Circuit Court date of August 24 was issued at a hearing on June 27.
The female passenger has been identified as Kriston Birmingham (11/06/79) of Bradford. A warrant has been issued for Birmingham for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, battery 2nd degree, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, possession of drug paraphernalia and several other charges are expected. Birmingham will be placed on the Sheriffâ€™s Office most wanted website.
For more information on the Lawrence County Sheriffâ€™s Office, visit their site at WWW.LawrenceCountySheriffsOffice.Com .