WASHINGTON COUNTY, Mo. (TCD) -- Iron County Sheriff Jeff Burkett and three other men were arrested this week on suspicion of "criminal street gang activities," as well as several other charges, including attempted kidnapping.
On Thursday, March 16, the Missouri State Highway Patrol announced troopers arrested Burkett, Chase Bresnahan, Donald Gaston, and Matthew Cozad following an investigation within their Division of Drug and Crime Control. Cozad and Bresnahan are reportedly Iron County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
According to KSDK-TV, Burkett, Bresnahan, and Cozad allegedly plotted with Gaston to kidnap Gaston’s children from their mother in February by calling the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and trying to get her arrested. Gaston and the woman reportedly had a domestic disturbance before the alleged kidnapping plot in which he was "physically aggressive."
Court documents cited by KSDK allege Burkett, Bresnahan, and Cozad illegally tracked the woman’s cellphone and found her location. They allegedly reported she kidnapped her daughter and hurt her.
Additionally, the men allegedly put a "stop and hold" marker on her file, which meant she would be detained if she was ever pulled over during a traffic stop.
All four men have been charged with participating knowingly in criminal street gang activities and conspiracy to commit class A/B/C felony or unclassified felony exceeding 10 years.
Burkett is charged with first-degree attempted kidnapping, facilitating a felony, inflicting injury, terrorizing, first-degree accessory to stalking, second-degree stalking, obtain criminal history record information under false pretense, misusing 911, and making false report. His bond is set at $500,000 cash.
Prosecutors charged Bresnahan with another count of conspiracy to commit class A/B/C felony or unclassified felony exceeding 10 years, obtain criminal history record information under false pretense, misusing 911, first-degree stalking, and second-degree stalking.
Cozad is also charged with another count of conspiracy to commit class A/B/C felony or unclassified felony exceeding 10 years, misusing 911, first-degree accessory to stalking, and second-degree accessory to stalking.
Gaston was booked on charges of attempted parental kidnapping by detain/conceal child’s whereabouts for 120 days or more, first-degree stalking, second-degree stalking, and making false report.
Bond for Bresnahan, Cozad, and Gaston is $400,000 cash.