June 8, 2021
The former police chief of Iron Mountain Lake was sentenced last week to probation on five charges related to a police pursuit outside of his jurisdiction that led to the discovery of missing drug evidence from his department.
John Washburn, 52, appeared in St. Francois County on Wednesday, where he pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, two counts of stealing a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence in a felony prosecution, and false impersonation of a law enforcement officer.
Circuit Court Judge Wendy Wexler Horn placed Washburn on five years of supervised probation and ordered him to complete the Veterans Court Program. If he violates the conditions of his probation, he could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
The former chief was given a suspended sentence of 30 days in jail for the misdemeanor charge of false impersonation of a law enforcement officer.The charges against Washburn were filed in September of last year after he was involved in a pursuit outside of his jurisdiction, which sparked an investigation.
According to a probable cause statement from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Washburn on Sept. 10 initiated a pursuit of a man from Farmington, Missouri, into Doe Run.
According to the report, Washburn had no authority to initiate the chase because he was out of his jurisdiction.
Following a report from a St. Francois County deputy who observed Washburn ingest what the deputy believed to be methamphetamine, and a report regarding missing methamphetamine evidence in a pending criminal case, a search warrant was applied for and granted to search the Iron Mountain Lake Police Department's evidence locker.
After no methamphetamine evidence was located in that evidence locker, the report states that Washburn admitted to taking the methamphetamine evidence from the locker and ingesting it.
Inside Washburn's home officers found a substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the report.
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