Man arrested over stolen rocket launcher

Christopher Owens

HOWARD COUNTY, Mo. – Authorities conducting a drug raid at a home in central Missouri were surprised to find a man in possession of a military-grade rocket launcher.

According to Deputy Mindy Nation, a spokesperson for the Howard County Sheriff’s Department, law enforcement from the county, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the East Central Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at a home in the 1400 block of County Road 433 in Rocheport.

Rocheport is located approximately 18 miles west of Columbia.

Officers discovered methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia used for the ingestion and distribution of narcotics inside the home, Nation said.

During the home raid, investigators learned of a rocket launcher that had been reported stolen from a Harrisburg, Missouri home nearly a month earlier.

While law enforcement was still at the home on County Road 433, Christopher Owens arrived at the home. Authorities made contact with Owens and searched his vehicle. They found the stolen rocket launcher and marijuana, among other suspicious items.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol Bomb Squad was called to properly dispose of the rocket launcher and other potentially dangerous items. The weapon and other items were brought to the Franklin Island Wildlife Area, where they were destroyed in a controlled explosion by the bomb squad and the 763rd Explosives Ordnance Disposal Company from Fort Leonard Wood.

The Howard County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Owens with unlawful possession of an explosive weapon and possession of stolen property. He remains in custody at Howard County Jail on $50,000 cash-only bond.