Drug Task Force Arrests Three in String of Meth Charges

A check on a woman who bought too much pseudoephedrine leads Sheriff's Department detectives to two meth labs.

The arrested three O’Fallon residents, including one at a St. Charles hotel, in a string of methamphetamine-related charges last week.

Prosecutors filed charges in St. Charles County Circuit Court against the three June 20:

  • Paul Harness, 33, of 1200 block of Southernside Drive, was charged with making and distributing meth and assaulting an officer;
  • Lorie Henke, 39, also of the 1200 block of Southernside Drive, was charged with making and distributing meth;
  • Ethel Lynn Riffle, 41, of the 200 block of Pheasant Point Boulevard, was charged with intent to manufacture and possession of meth.

Detectives said in a report that they checked on Riffle June 19 because she had a large pseudoephedrine purchase history, according to registry records

Riffle told task force members she bought the meth ingredient and traded it to Harness and his girlfriend, Henke, for finished meth. Detectives found meth paraphernalia and a small amount of meth in Riffle’s bedroom, according to the report.

Detectives discovered Harness agreed to sell a gram of meth for $100 to someone at , 1310 Bass Pro Shop Drive in St. Charles. Detectives arrested Harness when he arrived at about 8:45 p.m. June 19. They found Harness had one gram of meth in his pocket, according to the report.

Detecives said Harness spit in a detective’s face during an interrogation. As he was being subdued, he tried to spit in his face again.

Detectives also discovered he had come from the Super 8 Motel in Bridgeton, where he left his girlfriend, Henke.

North County Violent Crimes Unit detectives found Henke at the Bridgeton motel room, where she and Harness had a full, operating meth lab, according to the report. Henke also told officers she and Harness produced meth at their residence in O’Fallon, detectives said.

Drug task force members also found meth ingredients at Harness and Henke’s residence at , the report states.

According to the report, a neighbor at the apartment building thanked detectives because they had complained to the apartment complex numerous times about a strong chemical odor coming through their apartment ceiling. Their 1-year-old child was having breathing problems as a result, they told police.

Harness has previous criminal history for burglary, trafficking in drugs, assaulting officers, armed criminal action, distributing and making meth and stealing vehicles, with 29 felony arrests and eight convictions.


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