|Michael Joe Stubblefield is facing federal charges|
The postmaster of a small town in Barry County has been charged in federal court with conspiring to rob or burglarize a convenience store and steal drugs and other valuable packages from the postal service, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Michael "Mike" Joe Stubblefield, 48, of Cassville, was charged Friday with conspiring to interfere with interstate commerce by threats or violence in connection with planning an alleged robbery of Uncle Roy’s convenience store in Eagle Rock.
According to an affidavit supporting the complaint, Stubblefield met with two confidential informants working with law enforcement on several occasions.
The complaint alleges conversations involved coordinating a staged robbery or burglary at the convenience store by using an employee’s access information to gain entry after the store was closed.
When that employee was fired, Stubblefield abandoned the plan of a staged robbery and turned his attention toward a possible take-over robbery, according to the affidavit.
According to court documents, "Stubblefield was involved in drug trafficking as well as a scheme in which he had secured the cooperation of at least one female United Parcel Service (UPS) driver who would provide information to Stubblefield concerning valuable items being delivered by UPS. Through the scheme, the UPS driver, not know by either confidential informant, would contact Stubblefield when she had items of value, such as gold or jewelery, destined for a UPS drop location used by UPS to transfer packages from one driver to another in a local area. Stubblefield would then task another participant in the scheme to go to the known location and steal the packages."
|Eagle Rock post office|
To prove their claim, the informants reported that Stubblefield had obtained a shipment of gold and valuable watches and had them hold the watches. "Stubblefield placed the watches in a pre-labeled USPS box and then he sealed the box with USPS tape," while he was at work as a United States postal employee.
The confidential informants taped two meetings with Stubblefield on March 27th, according to the affidavit. During the first recording made at the post office, "only a limited amount of criminal matters were discussed as customers frequented the facility during the recording."
During the second recording made at a dinner meeting, "Stubblefield freely discussed the proposed robbery of Uncle Roy's." Stubblefield told the confidential informants that they could fill up their gas tanks and portable fuel tanks and that they would get their money back after they robbed the store.
"In addition to discussing the planned robbery, Stubblefield also described how those taking part in the robbery could place cash, masks, and other items related to the robbery in USPS packaging Stubblefield would provide to those committing the robbery. Additionally, Stubblefield again discussed his utilization of co-conspirator/s at UPS, as well as drug activity he was personally involved in."
Subblefield described in detail drug shipments he had received in the past and told the CI's he was expecting a shipment of Oxycodone, Morphine and another unknown drug to be delivered in a few days, according to court documents.
On March 29th, the FBI and the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General teamed up with Barry County authorities in the investigation.
The confidential informants took investigators to a storage locker where the watches had been secured to "confirm the existence of the watches and the accompanying packaging described." Inside the box authorities found "five pocket watches that appeared to be very old and of significant weight."
The confidential informants had another meeting with Stubblefield and other alleged co-conspirators on March 29th at Stubblefield's home.
About 6:45 p.m. the confidential informants contacted FBI agents to tell them they were en route to Rosie's Diner in Stella to have dinner with Stubblefield and the other alleged co-conspirators, "although the cooperating witnesses did not know the name of the other co-conspirators."
|Rosie's diner at 778 Ozark Street - Stella, MO|
Shortly after 8 p.m. federal agents went to Rosie's diner where they confirmed that vehicles belonging to Stubblefield, the cooperating witnesses and another vehicle whose owner could not be identified through state records were parked.
Stubblefield recently posted on the restaurant's facebook page, "Best food I've had in a long time."
When the cooperating witnesses met with authorities about 10 p.m. that night they told them the purpose of the meeting was to discuss plans for the robbery of Uncle Roy's at 10 p.m. on March 30th.
"During dinner, Stubblefield introduced two co-conspirators to the two confidential informants and then excused himself from the group after telling the four to come up with a plan for the robbery, utilizing the knowledge of CI#1, who was formally employed at the convenience store. "
The cooperating witnesses told authorities that the plan was to place fuel inside a tire and "roll it down a prominent hill" some distance from Eagle Rock. An emergency call would then be made by another participant saying a car had traveled off the road and was on fire.
Stubblefield, who has a scanner, would then contact the cooperating witnesses and co-conspirators when authorities had been dispatched to the staged accident scene so they could rob the convenience store.
Stubblefield is being held without bond in the Greene County jail.