Republic Man Sentenced for Meth Trafficking after High-Speed Chase

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Republic, Mo., man who led law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase was sentenced in federal court today for possessing methamphetamine to distribute.

Heath E. Yarger, 49, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 14 years in federal prison without parole.

On Sept. 30, 2021, Yarger pleaded guilty to one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. Yarger admitted that he was in possession of approximately 254 grams of pure methamphetamine when he was arrested on Dec. 21, 2020.

A Christian County, Mo., sheriff’s deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop of Yarger, who was driving a Chevrolet Silverado on Highway CC near Carnegie Road. Yarger failed to yield, however, and a pursuit ensued. Stop sticks were deployed and disabled the two passenger side tires. The pursuit continued onto northbound Highway 160 as Yarger reached speeds of 100 miles per hour and began to swerve and travel in the middle of the roadway, nearly striking multiple other vehicles. The pursuit continued through several residential streets and through the yard of a residence before returning to Highway 160. The pursuit ended near the intersection of Campbell Avenue and Primrose Street in Springfield, Mo. Yarger ran from the vehicle and was arrested after a short pursuit on foot.

Officers found a plastic bag that contained approximately 12.8 grams of pure methamphetamine in Yarger’s left jacket pocket. Officers searched his vehicle and found two plastic bags that contained an approximate total of 241.8 grams of pure methamphetamine.

According to court documents, Yarger has an extensive criminal history that includes convictions for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and multiple attempts to flee or resist law enforcement.

This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron A. Beaver. It was investigated by the Christian County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.