Two Pacific police officers will be honored for their work on a federal case in October.
Lt. Don Locke and Detective Cody Robertson will be recognized at the U.S. Department of Justice annual awards program Thursday, Oct. 3, in St. Louis.
Locke and Robertson helped with a federal investigation that led to the arrest last year of 21 suspects from Franklin and Jefferson counties who were indicted in a large-scale methamphetamine conspiracy.
All 21 defendants were sentenced earlier this year, most of them from Pacific and surrounding areas.
Pacific Police Chief Matt Mansell said the two officers were instrumental in shutting down a large meth lab in town that was related to the case.
“They were cooking on East Franklin,” Mansell said. “It was the largest (meth lab) in Pacific. In my career I’ve never seen that large of a meth lab. It was huge, and right in the heart of town.”
Robertson said the entire investigation took 2 1/2 years and spanned Franklin and Jefferson counties and the city of Kirkwood in St. Louis County.
Locke and Robertson were tracking one particular individual, Jerry Hendrickson, one of the major players in the case.
“We kept trying to put cases on him,” Robertson said, “and finally Kirkwood was investigating purchases of pseudoephedrine and Mr. Hendrickson’s name, as well as (20) other persons of interest came up and they initiated a federal conspiracy case.”
Hendrickson was sentenced to 110 months in federal prison.
Locke helped Kirkwood police knock on doors and gather information during the investigation.
All 21 suspects were arrested on May 24, 2012. The final defendant was sentenced March 27 of this year.
Mansell said he couldn’t be prouder of his officers.
“Our numbers (of drug cases) are dropping even though unemployment is up,” he said. “Usually when unemployment goes up, your numbers go up, but our numbers are dropping.”