The man at the center of a rift between the St. Charles and Warren County sheriff’s departments is headed back to prison for violating his probation.
Phillip L. Alberternst, Wright City, was ordered to serve the remainder of a 10-year prison sentence after pleading guilty last week in a Warren County court to violating the terms of his probation on two previous convictions.
Alberternst, who has a long criminal record, was arrested in 2009 in a raid on a mobile home in Middletown in Montgomery County by members of the East Central Task Force and the St. Charles County Regional Task Force.
At the time, officers were seeking to arrest Alberternst on an outstanding warrant. Officers found meth in the home as well as materials used to manufacture the drug.
One of the officers involved in the raid, St. Charles County Deputy Christopher Hunt, was later found guilty of one count of felony burglary and two misdemeanor counts of assault and property damage by a Montgomery County jury. Warren and Montgomery County deputies who took part in the raid testified against Hunt at his trial last August.
In October, Warren County Circuit Judge Keith Sutherland sentenced Hunt to five years in prison for his role in the raid. Hunt is appealing the conviction.
Alberternst filed a civil action against Hunt and received a $65,000 settlement in the case which is drawing national attention.
St. Charles County Sheriff Tom Neer was so frustrated with the outcome of the case has instructed his deputies not to travel into Warren County or Montgomery County to assist deputies with those departments.
Alberternst was never charged in the raid. Last week he confessed to several probation violations unrelated to the raid, Warren County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Wright told The Record.
After hearing the confession, Judge Sutherland ordered Alberternst to serve the remainder of his prison sentence which were related to a 2008 charge of endangering the welfare of a child and a 2009 charge of attempting to manufacture methamphetamine, Wright said.
According to Wright, the probation violations included the following:
Associating with another person who also was on probation;
Failing to follow instructions given by a probation officer;
Failing to enter a community supervision center;
Failing to report to a probation officer;
Failing to attend a substance abuse evaluation;
Consumption of alcohol; and
Entering a bar.
Alberternst is scheduled to turn himself in to Warren County authorities and begin serving the rest of his jail term Dec. 20, according to Wright.
He explained that it is “not uncommon” for people facing prison time to be released on furlough.
“This is done periodically and it allows them to get their affairs in order,” Wright said.
If Alberternst does not turn himself in as instructed by authorities, he could face an additional charge of failing to return to confinement, Wright noted.
According to online court records, Alberternst has been convicted of a total of 11 felonies including burglary, unlawful use of a weapon and distribution of methamphetamine.
In an earlier interview, Neer called Alberternst one of the biggest meth cooks in the area.