A Franklin County judge has issued an arrest warrant for a Pacific man charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia after the man missed his scheduled court date Thursday.
Franklin County Associate Circuit Judge David Hoven issued the warrant for Anthony R. Mathena, 26, Thursday after Mathena failed to appear for his preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is held in order for a judge to determine whether there is probable cause to believe the defendant committed the crime. Typically, this hearing allows for the prosecutor to present evidence and for the defense attorney to cross-examine any witnesses called to testify.
If probable cause is found, the judge refers the case for trial in the circuit court. If the judge decides that there is not probable cause, the court dismisses the case, and the defendant is released.
On Dec. 19, 2018, Mathena was allegedly caught by authorities in possession of more than 35 grams of fentanyl, a controlled substance, as well as syringes. He was charged with the intent to use them to inject a controlled substance, according to a probable cause statement from the prosecuting attorney’s office.
The controlled substance charge can carry a sentence of up to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections or a fine of up to $10,000. The paraphernalia charge could carry a fine of up to $500.
Mathena is also the defendant in several other cases, including multiple misdemeanor and felony theft cases.