Missouri man pleads guilty to meth trafficking after high-speed chase

Police Chase or Pursuit

 A Missouri man who led law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing methamphetamine to distribute.

Heath E. Yarger, 49, of Republic, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

By pleading guilty, Yarger admitted that he was in possession of approximately 336 grams of methamphetamine when he was arrested on Dec. 21, 2020. A Christian County, Mo., sheriff’s deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop of Yarger, who was driving a Chevrolet Silverado on Highway CC near Carnegie Road. Yarger failed to yield, however, and a pursuit ensued. Stop sticks were deployed and disabled the two passenger-side tires. The pursuit continued onto northbound Highway 160 as Yarger reached speeds of 100 miles per hour and began to swerve and travel in the middle of the roadway, nearly striking multiple other vehicles. The pursuit continued through several residential streets before returning to Highway 160. The pursuit ended near the intersection of Campbell Avenue and Primrose Street in Springfield, Mo. Yarger ran from the vehicle and was arrested.

Officers found a plastic bag that contained approximately 44.2 grams of methamphetamine in Yarger’s left jacket pocket. Officers searched his vehicle and found two plastic bags that contained an approximate total of 291.8 grams of methamphetamine.

Under federal statutes, Yarger is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron A. Beaver. It was investigated by the Christian County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration