CERRO GORDO - The Piatt County Sheriff's Office says that an investigation into reports of methamphetamine production in Cerro Gordo has resulted in charges being filed against 12 central Illinois residents.
Authorities say the investigation began in September 2014, and involved the Piatt County Sheriff's Office and the Cerro Gordo Police Department. Information gathered during the investigation included the names of five alleged methamphetamine cooks who were working together in Cerro Gordo. A search warrant was executed by the Illinois State Police - Methamphetamine Response Team, the Piatt County Sheriff's Office, and the Cerro Gordo Police Department on December 18, 2014.
Police say when the search warrant was executed, two individuals who resided there, Natasha Barnes and Russell Durham, were arrested. Further investigation resulted in the arrests of Joseph Robertson and Laura West. Authorities say their investigation revealed that a total of 12 individuals had allegedly participated in several violations of the Methamphetamine Control Act.
Authorities say Russell Durham (40), Natasha Barnes (22), Joseph Robertson (35), Shawn Cain (42), Brandon Murray (37), Ashley Murray (27), Laura West (21), Robert Cripe (31), John Henry III (25), Nicholas Bryson (32), Kirk Ballard (33), and Justin Peyton (21) have been charged with Methamphetamine Conspiracy as a result of this investigation. West faces additional charges of methamphetamine possession, and Robertson faces additional charges of methamphetamine possession and participation in methamphetamine production.