Meth investigation ongoing

Michael Bushnell
Northeast News

The Kansas City, Missouri Police Department is continuing its investigation into the June 20 discovery of a meth lab in the basement of a house in the 400 block of Gladstone Boulevard. As reported previously in the Northeast News, officers responded to the residence around 11 a.m. and discovered the remains of an exploded methamphetamine lab, injuring the party doing the cooking. That individual fled the scene northbound on Gladstone Boulevard.

Police sources would neither confirm or deny that the resident of the house is a suspect or a person of interest, only that no charges had been filed and that the investigation is ongoing. The Northeast News, however, confirmed with neighbors that the resident of the house in question is Matthew Tillery, someone with a long record with law enforcement in the state of Arkansas.

Matthew Tillery

According to court records, Tillery was paroled from a maximum security facility in Pine Bluff, Arkansas on June 30, 2017. Soon afterward, neighbors recall seeing him “show up” at the Gladstone Boulevard residence. Tillery has a variety of prior convictions, ranging from passing bad checks to burglary, and was classified by Baxter County Sheriff’s officials as a “habitual offender.”

Court documents show that Tillery was sentenced in June of 2014 to 120 months in prison for Meth/Cocaine delivery, less than 2g, along with two counts of Forgery. On the same day, he was sentenced to 144 months for Theft of Property in relation to the theft of a $72,400 Bass Cat Puma boat from Bass Cat Boats in Midway, Arkansas. Tillery used a truck stolen from an Ozark County, MO residence in carrying out that theft. During a custodial interview he admitted stealing the boat and selling it to a resort owner for $2,000. He was already incarcerated in the Baxter County Jail on a parole violation when he was charged officially with the boat theft.

In 2013, Tillery was arrested on Felony Forgery charges when he attempted to bail his then girlfriend, Jessica Smith, out of jail with a hot check. In that case he wrote a $450 check to a bonding company on an account that was closed. His bond on that charge was $10,000, but Baxter County Sheriff’s officials held Tillery without bond on his previous parole violations.

Neighbors we spoke with indicated that the last time they saw Tillery outside the residence was Sunday morning. This case comes a little more than a year after Tyler Sutton was sentenced to 8 years and 4 months without parole for operating a multi-faceted criminal enterprise out of another house in the 400 block of Gladstone Boulevard that included fraud, forgery and drug distribution.

In that case, Judge Greg Kays called Sutton “the architect of a far-reaching criminal enterprise.” The Scarritt Renaissance neighborhood worked closely with police and prosecutors in that case to insure Sutton received the maximum sentence. In this most recent case, Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood President Leslie Caplan stated that when an arrest is made, they’ll be ready to work with prosecutors to secure a heavy jail sentence.

“We worked hand in glove with police and prosecutors to ensure Tyler Sutton was put away and we’re prepared to do that in this case,” Caplan said.

According to KCPD, no arrest has yet been made in this case.

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