Busted Richardson County meth ring in hands of state probation
FALLS CITY - A key figure in an investigation that describes conspiracy to distribute 1.4 pounds of methamphetamine in Richardson County and involves drug charges against three women was sentenced Tuesday to four years probation.
The Richardson County Sheriff’s Office used trash pulls, phone forensics, iCloud captures, confidential informants and multiple search warrants during a two-year investigation that led to the arrest of 42-year-old Skyler Tosspon of Hiawatha, Kan.
Initial conspiracy charges, that carried a minimum prison sentence, were reduced to possession, which has a presumption of probation.
County Attorney Samantha Scheitel told Judge Julie Smith Tuesday that there was evidence to pursue the conspiracy charges against Tosspon, but there were several factors in her decision to offer a plea deal.
She said Richardson County's crack down on methamphetamine is worth the effort.
Scheitel: "The end goal in prosecuting someone is that the problem is fixed. Tosspon was bringing drugs into Richardson County, from what I can gather from reports, and now he isn't."
Under Nebraska law, a possession conviction demands a term of probation unless the sentencing judge can make a case that the person could not safely and effectively complete a probation term. Judge Smith said she is unable to make that finding.
She noted that Tosspon has completed treatment, continues in recovery, is employed, enrolled in community college and has remained sober since his release from jail.
Tosspon told Judge Smith that she saved his life by allowing him to go into treatment at Mission Field in Nebraska City.
Tosspon: “Mission Field really opened my eyes and that wouldn’t have happened if you had not allowed me into treatment.”
He credited the treatment not only for substance abuse, but for helping him process early childhood trauma.
Defense Attorney Steven Mercure said Tosspon has proven sobriety and is being successful with probation in Kansas.
Mercure: “He is doing everything the court would hope a person would do to become a productive member of society.”
Court records say Tosspon’s name first surfaced to the Richardson County Sheriff’s Office when deputies served a no-knock warrant at the residence of 42-year-old Anna Debolt.
An affidavit says deputies next linked Tosspon to controlled buys involving 25-year-old Candace Chandler.
Deputies continued controlled buys and say 29-year-old Josie Stuart of Falls City sold meth on two occasions.
The sheriff’s office suspects that Tosspon was supplying the meth. Stuart is linked to 14 grams on 20 occasions and investigators say Chandler obtained at least 224 grams, mostly in 14-gram increments. Investigators suspect Stuart obtained 427 grams of meth from Tosspon before June of 2022.
None of those suspicions were proven in court.
Debolt was sentenced to 18 months probation after a 2017 delivery charge was reduced to misdemeanor attempted possession.
Chandler was sentenced to probation after the county prosecutor reduced a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine charge to possession and a charge of possession was reduced to misdemeanor attempted possession.
A 2022 conspiracy charge against Stuart was reduced to possession. She was also sentence to probation.
Scheitel said she expects illegal drugs to continue to be an issue for Richardson County, but said the campaign against methamphetamine is making an impact.
Scheitel: "It requires more of an effort now because people are aware of the crackdown. They hesitate to bring it into the county."
Tosspon was also fined $2,000