BRANSON, Mo.- Eleven people are under arrest after Branson police found drugs, guns, and an apparent counterfeit money operation.
This happened Sunday morning while officers conducted a search warrant. Branson Police say this operation happened faster than most. As soon as patrolling officers got a hint of what was going on at the Metropolitan Hotel, the department acted swiftly to receive and execute multiple search warrants.
“They dug up this information, relayed it to our investigators. Our investigators were able to verify certain points that got us the search warrants. And we began this late in the week and served the warrant within a couple of days,” says Assistant Police Cheif Eric Schmitt.
Multiple officers and a SWAT team searched multiple vehicles and rooms at the Metropolitan.
“Our plan worked, and we got everyone safely into custody and discovered quite a bit of evidence,” says Schmitt.
That evidence included drugs, firearms and what appeared to be a counterfeit money operation. Schmitt says one of the six people arrested was a manager at the extended-stay motel.
“Obviously that displeases us, not only as a police department, but as a city. So we are looking into that. I know that city resources are actively investigating the licensing and everything that goes along with that because we obviously do not want a repeat of that in our city,” says Schmitt.
Schmitt says the vast majority of hotel management in Branson has acted professionally in monitoring these types of situations. He has a simple message for the few he says aren’t doing the right thing.
“If you’re an owner and you’re taking a hands-off approach that’s allowing criminal activity, we’re not going to allow that.”
Of the eleven arrested, five non- violent offenders were released due to cluttering concerns, but Schmitt says that pending further investigation, more people could be charged.