HIGGINSVILLE, Mo.– Court dates are set for two Higginsville residents who allegedly made their three children help grow marijuana at their home.
Records show Christine Antwiler, 39, and Martin Gatlin, 36, are charged with felony distributing, manufacturing or producing a controlled substance, felony keeping a public nuisance, and felony endangering the welfare of a child involving drugs. Gatlin has two additional felony charges of unlawful possession of a firearm.
A probable cause statement says a narcotics search warrant was executed Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, a the residence on Jennings Road in reference to a complaint of drug activity, firearms, and child endangerment.
A summary search in the master bedroom belonging to the couple revealed one Sig Sauer 45 caliber pistol. The pistol was not loaded, but the magazine next to the pistol was loaded. Marijuana digital scales, marijuana smoking pipe, baggies with methamphetamine residue, loose marijuana and seeds were also located in the master bedroom.
A search in the adjoining bedroom revealed a 12-gauge shot gun in plain sight in the closet with ammunition. Seven glass jars were located on the top shelf containing marijuana buds, labeled by type of marijuana. The adjoining bathroom contained two more glass canning jars with marijuana, scales, and a ledger containing several names and dollar amounts of what appeared to be money owed.
A search of the Coachmen camper revealed a previous indoor marijuana grow, three dismantled grow lights and 5/6 marijuana stalks with roots.
The Division of Family services was contacted in reference to three children who resided in the residence with Antwiler and Gatlin. The children are all biological children of Antwiler. A DFS worker spoke with the youngest child, eight years old, who said she had a specific job with the plants and her two siblings had different jobs. She said her mother, Antwiler, said they had to sell the marijuana to support the family.
The oldest child, 13-years-old, said he helped plant 40 plants, but only 18 made it. he advised that Gatlin was the boss and did not do any of the work processing the marijuana. He stated that he, Antwiler, and the two other children would clip the marijuana and Antwiler would do the finishing touches. He also stated Gatlin would sell the marijuana, of which one time he went with Gatlin to sell.
The total combined weight of the marijuana was approximately 450 grams.
Law enforcement observed a decorative sign hanging in the dining room which said “Unruly children will be forced to pick weed.”
A hearing is scheduled for the couple Oct. 26, 2016, at 10 a.m. in Lexington. Bond is set at $50,000 for Antwiler and $75,000 for Gatlin.