Lawsuits filed against Stoddard Co. officials - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Lawsuits filed against Stoddard Co. officials

BLOOMFIELD, MO (KFVS) -

Kevin Bay, the man accused of distributing synthetic drugs in Stoddard County, had his court appearance continued Thursday morning.

But what's interesting is why the continuance was granted.

One of Bay's attorneys is Mike Colona, the Minority Whip in the Missouri House of Representatives.  He could not appear because the Missouri legislature is in special session.

In August, officers raided Bay's business, Bocomo Bay, and seized thousands of dollars worth of synthetic drugs.

Stoddard County Prosecutor Russ Oliver says Bay distributed those drugs in Stoddard County.

The raid was conducted after Missouri's new synthetic drug law was enacted.  Representative Colona was one of just 13 members of the house to vote against the bill.

The plan for the raid at Bocomo Bay goes back to July, when the Stoddard County Sheriff's Department seized thousands of dollars worth of synthetic drugs from convenience stores around the county.

The prosecuting attorney and the Stoddard County sheriff say the synthetic drugs were voluntarily handed over, but four convenience store owners say that wasn't the case, and have filed law suits against Russ Oliver and Carl Hefner.

The suits claim Oliver and Hefner did not have warrants and illegally seized their products. They claim damages from loss of business.

In fact, one store owner says he got permission from the sheriff to sell the Bocomo products before he put it in his store.

The store owners' attorney, Thad Muholland of Columbia, Missouri, says, "We feel strongly about our position and will let the evidence come out in a court of law. We are quite confident that we will be vindicated at the end of the day."

Oliver says he has no comment on the details of the case, but did say he feels confident when the case goes to court.

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