Homeowner Fights Off Meth Makers


By Sam Jones
By Benjy Jeffords

FRANKLIN COUNTY -- A jogger fought off two men after stumbling across a meth making operation on his property.

The man came across the meth lab on his family's land outside Royalton Wednesday night.  Two men were making the drug inside a car. That's when the situation turned violent. The property owner said he had to use a two by four to defend himself.

“Secluded, no one around. I don't know if they've used that area before, but they were hidden, at least partially hidden,” Sheriff Don Jones explained.

The suspects were hidden behind a trailer, but as fate may have it, the property owner was running nearby at the same time. Investigators say he confronted two men who were cooking meth. They went after him, and he fought back.

“He got a 2x4 off the ground, a piece of a board, and struck one of them in the head and hit the other one in the arm,” added Jones.

One of the trespassers, hit in the head, was taken to the hospital. The other, Johnny M. Doerflein, landed in the back of a squad car. He’s charged with felony meth possession.

“Over 400 grams.  That’s quite a lot of meth,” the sheriff said.

If Doerflein's convicted, it means mandatory jail time.

“We want to be able to investigate these cases. You know, make arrests in these types of cases and get this stuff off the streets because it's poison,” he urged.

It's not the first time deputies found a lab like this on private property. Sheriff Jones says they have a long way to go in stopping meth in Franklin County, but this bust puts a big dent in the issue.

“Bad news we have that going on, but good news that we’re catching some of these people. These type of problems are associated with so much other crime; domestic violence, burglaries, thefts,” Jones shared.

Charges are expected on the other man, who's at a St. Louis hospital. His name won't be released until that happens. Since the property owner was protecting himself, he doesn't face any charges.

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