Former Missouri corrections officer faces drug-smuggling charges

ST. LOUIS | A former Missouri corrections officer and two others face federal charges for allegedly trying to smuggle marijuana and crack cocaine inside the state prison in Moberly.

U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway announced the charges Friday against 35-year-old Brian Saunders of Salisbury, along with 25-year-old Rebecca Best and 28-year-old Sandra White, both of Moberly. Continue reading

Correctional officer charged with rapes

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A state corrections officer has been charged in a series of rapes in Springfield that occurred over the last eight years.

Bobbie McGhee, 46, of Springfield, was arrested on a total of 15 counts in five rapes. The charges include multiple counts of rape, sodomy and burglary. He has been suspended from his duties at the Ozark Correctional Center in Fordland, where he has worked since 2006.

Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman Dean Watson said state law allows corrections officials to suspend an employee without pay if he or she is charged with a criminal offense. The suspension is pending an investigation or trial.

Police said the rapes occurred at hotels and apartments. The earliest occurred in April 2000 and the most recent Oct. 8.

McGhee also is a suspect in a rape in Fulton.

Police said they linked McGhee to the rapes through DNA he left on eating utensils that an investigator collected at a restaurant.

McGhee, who was arrested Wednesday, is being held in the Greene County jail. Bond has not been set.

“His name surfaced as a person of interest, but we had no DNA from him,” Springfield Police Chief Lynn Rowe told The Associated Press on Thursday. “Once we worked and followed him and obtained samples of his DNA from things he used — specifically the utensils — we got the match.”

Rowe said investigators worked backward from there to connect the cases.

Before the DNA match, there wasn’t enough to link the rapes to each other, he said. Officers noticed some similarities, such as that some of the victims’ front doors were missing peepholes. But there were disimilarities too, Rowe said.

“There wasn’t really an identifiable M.O. that led us to believe right away that we were dealing with the same person,” Rowe said. “In the end, it was the DNA that allowed him to be charged.”


Feds seek cash that was allegedly dug up and deposited by Prison guard

East St. Louis — An Illinois prison guard’s attempts to discreetly deposit bundles of once-buried cash led to a 21st-century treasure hunt and the discovery of a drug dealer’s stash of almost $500,000 in cash, coins and jewelry, federal prosecutors say.

Internal Revenue Service agents became suspicious when the guard, Paul D. Steinacher, split $75,000 into multiple deposits that then went into three bank accounts, according to court documents and people with knowledge of the investigation.

When the agents knocked on the door of Steinacher’s home in White Hall, Ill., on Jan. 15, he had a strange greeting for them: “I think I know what this is about,” according to an affidavit filed in court by IRS Special Agent James Dye.

Steinacher told the following story, according to Dye:

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