The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 18, 2013

Joplin woman faces new drug charge after traffic stop

By Roger McKinney

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Joplin woman who was shot in a finger last month during a police action that started on the Wal-Mart parking lot at 1501 S. Range Line Road faces a new charge after a Thursday morning traffic stop.

Tyeler Whetstone, 23, is charged in Jasper County Circuit Court with felony possession of a controlled substance.

She already was facing a charge of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver in connection with the March 12 incident in which her left ring finger was struck by a bullet fired by police.

According to a police account of that incident, Whetstone was a passenger in a pickup driven by John C. Gage, 24, of Joplin. Gage was charged with first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer. He is accused of trying to run down Joplin police Officer David McGough with his pickup. McGough fired into the truck, striking Gage’s right shoulder and one of Whetstone’s fingers.

The probable-cause affidavit for that drug charge states that Whetstone admitted trying to make a drug sale in the parking lot of the store. Two bags containing suspected meth were found when she was searched at Freeman Hospital West.

Police Lt. Brian Lewis said Whetstone was a passenger in a pickup that failed to stop at 2:52 a.m. Thursday at a stop sign at 20th Street and Connor Avenue. Police stopped the pickup at 18th Street and Connor Avenue. A drug-sniffing dog that was taken to the vehicle alerted on Whetstone’s purse. Police reportedly found a pipe used to smoke meth and a package containing a white powder that field-tested positive for meth.

Fred L. Pickett, 33, of Joplin, was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant on a charge of vehicle tampering.