2 suspects arrested on drug trafficking charges following police pursuit

Mar. 25—Two Joplin men are facing drug trafficking charges in connection with a police pursuit Friday afternoon during which they purportedly were throwing heroin, fentanyl and pseudoephedrine out of the car as they fled.

The driver of the car, Joseph W. Hood, 41, was charged with felony counts of second-degree trafficking in drugs, first-degree vehicle tampering and tampering with evidence and the misdemeanor offenses of driving without a license, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia. He remained in custody Monday on a surety bond of $250,000, plus a cash bond of $25,000.

A second occupant, Bobby L. Cooper, 36, faces the felony counts of second-degree trafficking in drugs and tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor count of vehicle tampering. He also had four active city warrants served on him and was being held on a surety bond of $100,000 and a cash bond of $10,000.

The car proved to have been stolen in Cabool.

A police news release states that an officer tried to stop the car for traffic violations when the suspects were near Zora Street and Minnesota Avenue about 4 p.m. Friday. But the Toyota Yaris fled west out of the city into Kansas before eventually returning to Joplin and being stopped near 20th Street and Malang Road with the aid of tire deflaters.

According to the news release, the occupants discarded items out of the car in the course of the pursuit. Among items recovered by police were a bag containing 2.59 grams of heroin, another containing 64.6 grams of fentanyl and 35 pseudoephedrine pills.