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Press Release

Four Jefferson City Men Indicted for Distributing Meth

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a fourth Jefferson City, Mo., man has been charged along with three co-defendants who were earlier indicted following a police chase that resulted in the seizure of a large quantity of methamphetamine.


Matthew Raymond Eppenauer, 31, of Jefferson City, was charged in a four-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Jefferson City. Today’s superseding indictment replaces a Feb. 25, 2015, federal indictment and adds Eppenauer as a co-defendant.


Co-defendants David Eugene Rodebaugh, 40, Michael Pearson, 32, and Hernan Hurtado, 24, all of Jefferson City, were charged in the original indictment and remain charged in identical counts in today’s superseding indictment. They have remained in federal custody without bond since their arrest on Feb. 13, 2015.


Today’s indictment alleges that Eppenauer, Rodebaugh, Pearson and Hurtado participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.


In addition to the conspiracy, Rodebaugh and Pearson are charged together in one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. Hurtado is also charged with one count of distributing methamphetamine. Eppenauer is also charged with one count attempting to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.


According to affidavits filed in support of the original federal criminal complaints that were filed against Rodebaugh, Pearson and Hurtado, law enforcement officers were conducting surveillance of Rodebaugh on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 as part of an ongoing drug-trafficking investigation. Rodebaugh and Pearson met with Hurtado in the parking lot at the Capital Mall in Jefferson City, the affidavit says, where Pearson took a plastic bag from the back cab area of Hurtado’s pickup and placed it in the back seat of the Acura he and Rodebaugh had driven to the mall.


Pearson drove the Acura, with Rodebaugh in the front passenger seat, as they left the mall. Police attempted to stop Pearson, the affidavit says, but he refused to stop and led officers in pursuit. The Acura was eventually rendered inoperable and Pearson fled on foot. Rodebaugh remained inside the Acura and was detained. Pearson was later located and arrested.


According to the affidavit, law enforcement officers found the plastic bag, which Rodebaugh later admitted he had thrown out the vehicle’s window during the pursuit, about 75 yards from where the Acura was stopped. Inside the plastic bag were two large bundles that contained approximately five pounds of methamphetamine.


Later that same afternoon, Hurtado called the Jefferson City, Mo., Police Department to report he had been robbed of $6,000 while at his home in Jefferson City. Hurtado voluntarily came to the police station, where he was questioned and arrested.


Dickinson 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 Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lynn. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, MUSTANG (the Mid-Missouri Unified Strike Team and Narcotics Group) and the Jefferson City, Mo., Police Department.

Updated July 15, 2015

Drug Trafficking