Two accused murderers and a few local residents are among 11 people who have been named in a federal indictment alleging drug distribution.
Named in the federal indictment which was unsealed Monday were Melvin Scherrer, Brent Bouren, Jorge Lopez, Alan D. Adler, Howard “Bud” Pyatt, Arvil Matthews, Mark E. Abney, Amber Scism, Terri L. Fox, Guillermo “Willie” Navarro, Jeremy Addison, and Jerami A. Westenberger.
Scherrer, Bouren, Lopez, Adler, Pyatt, Matthews, Abney, Scism, and Fox are charged with conspiracy to distribute/possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of meth between October 2010 and Sept. 4, 2013.
In addition, Scherrer, who lives in Cedar Lake in St. Francois County, is charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm (semi-automatic pistol and a Browning Arms Company 6 mm caliber handgun) and two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. He and Adler are each charged with an additional charge of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of meth.
Bouren is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He allegedly possessed 33 guns.
Abney is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm (five firearms).
Navarro and Westenberger are charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine. The quantity of mixture involved in the offense involved 500 grams or more.
Addison, Bouren and Westenberger are separately charged in the indictment with conspiring to distribute cocaine. The quantity of mixture involved in the offense involved 500 grams or more.
A message left for the spokesperson of the U.S. Attorney General’s Office was not returned immediately.
Scherrer, 49, was charged last month with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, abandonment of a corpse, felonious restraint and tampering with evidence in connection with the murder of Sam Francis - a tattoo artist from Cape Girardeau who went missing in December. His body was found in a septic tank east of Bonne Terre July 25.
The charge alleges Scherrer struck and smothered Sam Francis on or about Dec. 18.
Bouren, 42, of St. Louis, was charged Friday with second-degree murder, felonious restraint, second-degree assault, armed criminal action and tampering with a witness in connection with Sam Francis’ murder. He was taken into federal custody Monday.
Otto Plopper, 43, of French Village, was charged Friday with the Class D felony of abandonment of a corpse. His bond was set at $10,000. He was reportedly in custody on a traffic charge in Ste. Genevieve County.
These three could be arraigned next week, according to the St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.
According to the probable cause statement, witnesses identified Bouren as being present when Melvin Scherrer assaulted Sam Francis with a baseball bat and they also reported seeing Bouren assault Francis.
Witnesses reported Bouren threatened the same treatment toward them if they ever spoke of what they observed. They said Bouren held a gun in his hand and pointed it at others who were present at Scherrer’s residence.
The witnesses said Plopper was present during the incident. They reported seeing him leave the residence with Scherrer and Francis. They reported Plopper later admitted to helping Scherrer dispose of Francis’ body.
Bouren is accused of tampering with a witness by threatening Dustin Eyerly — a man currently charged with receiving stolen property, Sam Francis’ tattoo equipment. The original federal charge against Scherrer identified Bouren as one of Scherrer’s drug distributors.