NEOSHO, Mo. — A rural Stella woman waived a preliminary hearing Monday on drug trafficking charges and was ordered to stand trial in Newton County Circuit Court.

Kelsey D. Millikin, 22, waived the hearing on charges of participating in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy and felony possession of the drug. Associate Judge Christine Rhoades set Millikin's initial appearance in a trial division of the court on May 13.

The charges pertain to an arrest April 9, 2018, at an address on Gazelle Drive near Neosho. A Chrysler 300 that was later determined to have been stolen and had fled from Seneca police earlier the same day was spotted pulling onto a property that was under surveillance by a Newton County sheriff's investigator for purposes of obtaining grounds for a search warrant, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

Millikin purportedly got out of the passenger side of the front seat as the car came to a stop. Other officers were summoned to the area to serve the search warrant when a male suspect known to the investigators, Nathen Libertus, 29, of Stella, tried to run but was caught and detained. The affidavit states that he had the key to the Chrysler 300 in his pocket and was in possession of $1,240 in cash.

Millikin and Derek M. Johnson, the 27-year-old resident of the address, were detained on the property, where investigators found tarps partially covering the stolen vehicle. Inside the car, investigators found numerous new bags associated with the packaging of drugs and a box concealed in a hollowed-out railroad tie that contained 396 grams of a substance that field tested positive for meth, according to the affidavit.

Also seized in the search of the vehicle, authorities said, were a meth pipe, a bag of marijuana, several bags of suspected synthetic marijuana, and a digital scale and other items associated with the sale of drugs. Found in a hollow log near the vehicle was a box containing 2 grams of meth and drug paraphernalia, and in a camper on the property an additional 64.5 grams of meth were found.

The affidavit further alleges that a search of Millikin's pockets incidental to arrest turned up 2 grams of meth, a bag of psilocybin mushrooms and a drug pipe.

Johnson and Libertus, who also were charged with trafficking, have not yet had preliminary hearings in their cases. Libertus faces a second count of stealing pertaining to the stolen vehicle.

Millikin pleaded guilty in July of last year to a reduced charge of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine on a prior trafficking charge incurred in McDonald County in 2017 and received a suspended sentence. Felony charges of drug possession, stealing and resisting arrest were filed on her in March of this year related to alleged offenses committed in May of last year. Those charges also remain pending in Newton County Circuit Court.

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.