Brendon Fox, the Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney announced that yesterday a Phelps County jury of eight women and four men deliberated just fifteen minutes before finding Ryan K. Guske guilty of one count of Driving While Revoked. Guske had previously been convicted of the same offense three times prior. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Nicholas P. Chlysta.
Guske, 41, of Rolla, Missouri was observed by a Deputy of the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department operating a pickup truck bearing improper license plates in the early morning hours of April 20, 2014 on Hwy 63 and CR 5240. Upon the initiation of a traffic stop, Guske was identified as the driver, and when asked to provide his driver’s license and proof of insurance, Guske admitted, “You know I don’t have one.” The Deputy knew Guske’s license was revoked, based on two prior occasions where the Deputy had conducted a search of Guske’s driving status confirming and notifying him that his driver’s license was revoked.
“In Missouri driving is a privilege, not a right. Without a driver’s license, Guske was driving on our streets without insurance coverage putting us all at risk. This repeat offender showed a blatant disregard for the law,” said Chlysta following his first jury trial since rejoining the prosecutor’s office in February.
Judge William Hickle has set the case for sentencing on August 23, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. Because of his repeated violations, Guske faces up to four years in prison.
On June 8, 2015, Jessica Edwards, 31, of Rolla, Missouri was sentenced to 14 years in the Department of Corrections. The case was prosecuted by Phelps County Senior Assistant John Garrabrant and Assistant Prosecutor Nicholas Chlysta.
In an earlier hearing the Defendant admitted to the Court that she had violated her existing probation for Possession of Methamphetamine, by committing the new law offense of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute. At the revocation hearing, Judge William E. Hickle granted the State’s Motion to Revoke and ordered the defendant to serve seven years in prison.
Subsequently, Jessica Edwards entered a plea of guilty to the class B felony of Possession of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute. Mr. Chlysta offered a factual basis for the Court describing items seized during the execution of a search warrant on Edwards’ residence by the Missouri South Central Drug Task Force. Additionally, the results of a Missouri State Highway Patrol Criminal Laboratory report were presented showing that the defendant was in possession of forty two (42) separate plastic baggies packaged for distribution all containing Heroin. Edwards was sentenced to seven additional years in the Department of Corrections for that crime.
Reached for comment, Prosecuting Attorney Brendon Fox expressed his satisfaction with the result. “My office takes the distribution of Heroin in our community very seriously, and hopefully this type of lengthy sentence will make other criminals think twice before selling this poison to our friends and families.”