News and Press Releases

six cooper county residents indicted for
conspiracy to manufacture meth

January 14, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that six defendants, primarily residents of Boonville, Mo., have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

Justen Andrew Hedden, 38, his wife, Rosslyn Elaine Hedden, 31, her mother, Cheryl Ann Russell, 55, Matthew Farrar Tidwell, 26, and Jason Scott Robertson, 34, all of Boonville, and Wendy May Tate, 34, of Bunceton, Mo., were charged in a nine-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Jefferson City on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011. That indictment has been unsealed and made public upon the arrests and initial court appearances of several defendants.

The federal indictment alleges that all seven defendants participated in a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine from May 20, 2009, to Nov. 7, 2010. All of the defendants are also charged with participating in a conspiracy to possess pseudoephedrine, knowing that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine, during the same period of time.

The indictment alleges that the defendants traveled to various retail stores in Pettis, Cooper, and Boone counties and purchased varying amounts of cold and allergy medications that contain pseudoephedrine. In addition to the conspiracies, Justen Hedden, Rosslyn Hedden, Russell, Tidwell and Tate are each charged with one count of possessing pseudoephedrine, knowing that it was to be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Tidwell is also charged with one count of manufacturing methamphetamine in Cooper County on Sept. 30, 2010. Robertson is also charged with one count of manufacturing methamphetamine in Cooper County on Nov. 7, 2010.

Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Berry. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force, the Cooper County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Howard County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Boonville, Mo., Police Department, the Pilot Grove, Mo., Police Department, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.



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