Press Releases


One in custody after search warrant served in Stotesbury, Mo

A Stotesbury, Mo resident is in custody after a search warrant was served on a residence just off D Hwy in Stotesbury Monday morning. According to Sheriff’s Office officials, Deputies recovered suspected methamphetamines, and drug paraphernalia during the search. Warrants were issued Tuesday for 38-year-old Michelle L Rees, charging her with Possession of a Controlled Substance and Keeping or Maintaining a Public Nuisance. Rees is being held in the Vernon County Jail on a $25,000 cash only bond.  

Milo resident arrested after Wednesday morning pursuit

A wanted subject is in custody after a pursuit early Wednesday morning. According to the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy attempted to stop a dirt bike in the area of K Hwy and 2200 Road when the dirt bike failed to yield. The suspect fled into a corn field in the area of 2200 Road and Panama Road. The suspect then fled on foot and attempted to hide in the corn field but was found by deputies a short time later. Sheriff Jason Mosher said the suspect has been identified as 20-year-old Trey M Stone, of Milo MO. Stone was wanted on a felony warrant for Failure to Obey a Judge’s Order and is being held in the Vernon County Jail with no bond.

Sheldon resident charged after Wednesday night assault

A Sheldon, Mo resident is in custody after an assault that took place late Wednesday night. According to Sheriff’s Office Officials, 38-year-old Marry E Aleman, has been charged with two counts of Assault in the Second Degree, two counts of Armed Criminal Action, and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. According to officials, the incident took place on Troop Road East of Milo Mo, during a confrontation where Aleman allegedly struck another person in the head with a firearm, causing the firearm to discharge and wound a person standing nearby. The wounded person was transported to a Joplin Hospital for treatment, and released the following day. Aleman is being held in the Vernon County Jail on a $50,000 cash only bond.  

Most wanted subject arrested, drugs seized

A Nevada resident who has been listed on the Vernon County Most wanted list for nearly two weeks was taken into custody Monday morning by Sheriff’s Deputies during a traffic stop in the area of Barr and Cedar streets in Nevada. According to Sheriff’s Office officials, 27-year-old Jacob T Rawlings, of Nevada MO was wanted on multiple probation violation warrants. Vernon County Sheriff Jason Mosher said suspected methamphetamines and heroine were also located during the arrest. Rawlings is currently being held in the Vernon County Jail with no bond.  

Mother’s Day Cards Provided to Vernon County Inmates

Gary Almquist is one of eight pastors that serve as chaplains to the Vernon County Sheriff’s Department.  Because of his ministry, The Father’s Love, this will be the fourth year that the inmates at the jail have been able to participate in the Mother’s Day card program.  The inmates were given Mother’s Day cards to fill out two weeks before the holiday weekend. Postage fees to mail the cards will be covered by the ministry.


Before starting the program, Almquist heard about other jails that had programs like this.  He said “I just thought that would be a really cool thing to do here at the jail, so we tried it and it’s been pretty successful.”  The program also offers Christmas cards to the inmates, so they can connect with family at that time of year.


The Vernon County jail usually has about 120-125 inmates.  This year they handed out 120 cards, and 95 were returned to be mailed.  The cards are provided by American Rehabilitation Ministries, which is based in Joplin, Missouri.  “They are a distributor for Dayspring Cards and for the American Bible Society.  We get the cards from them for no charge, and the Bibles are distributed by them.” Almquist said.


The card program is unique because it is one of the only programs that makes it possible for inmates to keep in contact with family and loved ones outside of the jail. “I think it’s really important.  They might make some mistake to get in jail, and they’ve got to deal with that now that they’re in here. But at some point, they’re going to be coming back into society and they need somebody they have a positive relationship with to help them when they get out.” said Sheriff Mosher.


The sheriff said that they have found that the most common relationship that inmates seek to maintain is that with their mothers. “Whether it’s an 18-year-old kid that got himself into jail, or a 45-year-old man, the mothers are the ones they always fall back to.”  

Almquist said that sometimes people ask why they don’t have a similar program for Father’s Day, and they found that the response rate from inmates is about seven percent compared to the 80 percent for Mother’s Day. “Most of the men don’t know who their fathers are or have bad relationships with their fathers, but the mothers are generally the ones that cared for them, or that they were nurtured by.”

The inmates respond well to the Mother’s Day card program, thanking the chaplains for making it possible to contact their loved ones. “Most of them don’t have very much contact at all with their parents, sisters, or grandmothers. So, this gives them an opportunity to keep that relationship going, and that’s what we like about it.” Almquist said.

The chaplains serve an important role in the Sheriff’s office. There are eight on-call pastors who rotate emergency calls.  They meet with the Sheriff once a month.  According to Mosher, a chaplain is called to assist if there is a death call, or if there is a circumstance that the deputies on the scene feel is beyond what they can deal with.  

They also frequently assist the staff and inmates within the jail. There are times that an inmate is notified of a family death or hospitalization.  Mosher said those times are difficult because “They’re already upset because they’re in jail. It used to be that the detention officer would go down and tell them.  But we have found that it works a lot better now. We’ve got a process that we call the chaplains and they’ll go talk to them.”

Sometimes there are issues going on outside of the jail and because the person is in custody they are unable to deal with the problem, and the inmate really wants to talk to somebody.  The can be put on a list to talk to the chaplain, so they can talk one-on-one. “We do a lot of one-on-one.” Almquist said.


    The chaplains hold seven or eight Saturday services for the inmates in the jail. Sheriff Mosher said that the services are available at the jail on the inmates request. “This isn’t a program that we started because we tried to get the inmates to do it.  The chaplains are here because the inmates want to go to church while they’re in jail.  There have been a few times that things were really busy and we’ve missed a week or two and the inmates were saying “Hey we want to do church service.”


    Almquist has been a chaplain at the Sheriff’s office for over eight years.  As he put it, “Jesus said, ‘I’ve come to set the captives free.’ so that’s what we try to do, the best we can.”

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Drug raid on rural home leads to arrest, seizure of drugs

A Nevada, Mo resident has been charged after a Sheriff’s Office raid on a home Tuesday afternoon, recovering suspected methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia. Vernon County Sheriff Jason Mosher said one person was taken into custody after his office served a search warrant at a residence on 1200 Rd southwest of Nevada as part of an ongoing investigation. Mosher said the suspect has been identified as 19-year-old John H Chappell. Charges were issued early Wednesday charging Chappell with Possession of a Controlled Substance (D Felony). Chappell is being held in the Vernon County Jail on a bond of $10,000 cash only.    

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Sheldon resident arrested after pursuit with deputies

Charges have been filed against a Sheldon resident after a pursuit with deputies Monday evening. According to Sheriff’s Office Officials, the suspect has been identified as 24-year-old Landon G Wilson, of Sheldon Missouri. Vernon County Sheriff Jason Mosher said a deputy attempted to make a traffic stop in the area of Zodiac and 1825 roads when the vehicle failed to stop. Mosher said the pursuit ended a short time later after going through the city of Sheldon and ending in the area of 1925 and Zodiac roads. Suspected methamphetamines were also found in the vehicle. Warrants have been issued for felony Resisting Arrest and Possession of a Controlled Substance. Bond was set at $10,000 cash only.  

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Arrest made after women attempts to give Bible to inmate containing drugss

A warrant has been issued for a Nevada resident after Detention Officers located what they believe to be marijuana hidden inside of a Bible intended for an inmate in the County Jail. According to officials with the Sheriff’s Office, Ashley A Despain has been charged with Delivery Or Possession Of a Controlled Substance in a Jail, a class D Felony, when she walked into the Sheriff’s Office Monday evening asking to give a Bible to an inmate.


According to Vernon County Sheriff Jason Mosher, the Detention Officer inspected the Bible and located a substance believed to be marijuana hidden inside the binding. A deputy was called and Despain was arrested at the Sheriff’s Office. Mosher said another person who drove to the Sheriff’s Office with Despain was also arrested on an unrelated warrant. The Sheriff said they have caught people attempting to smuggle contraband and drugs into the jail before, but never in a Bible. “If you show up at the Sheriff’s Office with drugs, you shouldn’t be surprised when you get arrested” Mosher said. Despain is now being held in the Vernon County Jail on a $5,000 bond.


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Investigators make arrest, recover stolen property

Warrants have been issued for a Nevada resident after investigators with the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant at a residence east of Nevada and located stolen property and suspected methamphetamine. According to Sheriff Jason Mosher, investigators executed the search warrant on Friday the 23rd and recovered a stolen UTV and arrested a suspect who has been identified as 35-year-old Dustin W Jones of Nevada. Mosher said suspected methamphetamines were also located on Jones when he was taken into custody. The stolen UTV was returned to the owner.


Jones has been charged with: Receiving Stolen Property (D Felony), and Possession Of a Controlled Substance (D Felony). Jones is being held in the Vernon County Jail on a $15,000 cash only bond

Nevada woman charged in Friday night shooting

A Nevada resident has been arrested after deputies responded to a 911 call of a male victim with a gunshot wound to the chest Friday evening. According to Vernon County Sheriff’s Officials, deputies responded to a residence South of Nevada near 1725 road and BB Highway after the call was placed. The male victim, whose information has not yet been released, was transported to Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Missouri, and is listed in stable condition; he could be released from the hospital within the next few days. Investigators were called in to work the case and soon began searching for a female suspect. The suspect was arrested late Friday night and has been identified as 25-year-old Heather L Benenhaley of Nevada, Missouri.


Vernon County Sheriff Jason Mosher said warrants have been issued for Benenhaley for an A Felony First Degree Domestic Assault, Armed Criminal Action, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. The Sheriff said Benenhaley was believed to be in a relationship with the victim and the case is still under investigation. Benenhaley is being held on a $100,000 cash only bond.  

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