CHARGES FILED AGAINST THREE IN CONSPIRACY TO DELIVERY DRUGS INTO THE JAIL

08/09/2017



Cynthia Marie Piatt


Kevin Eugene Burch


Mikel Blaine Short

    

     The Sheriff’s Office has arrested one person and is searching for another in connection with an investigation into an attempt to smuggle drugs into the Detention Center.  Additional charges have also been filed against a current jail inmate, the intended recipient, in connection with the incident.

     On August 1, 2017, a man came to the Baxter County Detention Center to deliver a bible to jail inmate MIKEL BLAINE SHORT.  The bible was taken by a Jail Supervisor.  During a subsequent inspection of the bible, the Jail Supervisor found drugs hidden inside the binding of the bible, including suspected methamphetamine, marijuana, and tobacco in vacuum sealed baggies.  An investigation was subsequently initiated.

     Video surveillance at the Detention Center assisted in verifying the identity of the man who brought the bible to the facility for inmate SHORT.  This man was identified as 31 year old KEVIN EUGENE BURCH.  Further investigation into the matter found that KEVIN BURCH, MIKEL SHORT, and 28 year old CYNTHIA MARIE PIATT had conspired together and coordinated their efforts to purchase a bible, conceal the drugs, and then have it delivered to the Detention Center for SHORT. BURCH and PIATT used a cell phone to facilitate the plan, and the delivery of the bible with the drugs hidden inside took place within 1,000 feet of the Old Hickory Park in Mountain Home, which is a penalty enhancement.  In addition, all three offenders have been convicted of multiple felony crimes previously, thereby qualifying each of them for an additional penalty enhancement as Habitual Offenders.

     Investigators obtained bench warrants from the Circuit Court for the arrest of each offender.  On Tuesday,  Investigators went to an address on Baxter CR 508 in the Midway area and arrested PIATT on her warrant.  During the arrest encounter and while waiting for someone to arrive to pick up her children, PIATT handed off approximately 25.1 grams of methamphetamine to a 17 year old juvenile female at the residence for her to conceal.  This was later discovered by Investigators, and the drugs were seized. PIATT was also charged with other offenses because of this incident.

     KEVIN BURCH was not found and remains at large. Inmate SHORT will also be served with his warrant at the Detention Center.

     CYNTHIA MARIE PIATT was booked into the Detention Center Tuesday afternoon, August 8th.   She faces charges of:

Furnishing Prohibited Articles – Felony
Delivery of Methamphetamine (2 counts) – Felonies
Conspiracy to Furnish Prohibited Articles – Felony
Unlawful Use of Communications Device – Felony
Proximity to Certain Facilities – Penalty Enhancement
Habitual Offender – Penalty Enhancement
Delivery of Controlled Substance to a Minor – Penalty Enhancement
Contributing to the Delinquency of a Juvenile – Misdemeanor
Gross Neglect of Parental Duty Resulting in Delinquency - Misdemeanor

     PIATT remains incarcerated in lieu of $75,000 bond and will appear in the Circuit Court to answer on August 10th.   She has three previous bookings in the Baxter County Jail, as well as prior bookings at other jails in the area.

     Jail inmate MIKEL BLAINE SHORT, who is being held in custody awaiting bed space at the Arkansas Department of Corrections, now faces additional charges of:

Conspiracy to Furnish Prohibited Articles – Felony
Unlawful Use of Communications Device – Felony
Proximity to Certain Facilities – Penalty Enhancement
Habitual Offender – Penalty Enhancement

     SHORT will also appear in Circuit Court to answer on August 10th.   He has been booked into the Baxter County Jail on thirteen prior occasions since 2000.

     Deputies are still searching for KEVIN EUGENE BURCH, who has an outstanding bench warrant on charges of:

Furnishing Prohibited Articles – Felony
Delivery of Methamphetamine – Felony
Conspiracy to Furnish Prohibited Articles – Felony
Unlawful Use of Communications Device – Felony
Proximity to Certain Facilities – Penalty
Enhancement Habitual Offender – Penalty Enhancement

     BURCH has been booked into the Baxter County Jail on twenty prior occasions since 2004, as well as several bookings at other area jails.  Anyone knowing the whereabouts of KEVIN BURCH is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

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