Suspected huffer arrested 17 times in 2018; prosecutors trying to keep him behind bars

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO – A St. Louis County man has been arrested 17 times since January 1st, most recently over the weekend, but has yet to be charged with a crime.

He's a growing source of frustration and concern for St. Louis County Police and a legal struggle for prosecutors.

Time and time again, St. Louis County Police have arrested the 47-year-old man. His mugshots show him often wearing the same orange shirt.

Police have picked him up at busy intersections in Affton along Gravois, twice at the Dollar General on Lemay Ferry Road and even a Home Depot at 7400 Lindbergh Boulevard. On two occasions, he was arrested three days in a row.

His offense? Police say he's a "Huff Duster".

Police say he's sniffing compressed air from cans and getting high.

The St. Louis County Counselors Office says there are no laws against huffing in the books in Missouri however, charges are being considered in some of his cases.

In a statement, the St. Louis County Prosecutor's Office said it reviewed three cases which it forwarded to the County Counselor's Office, "None of the charges/cases present to us are felony crimes. All are misdemeanors, Class B, which are normally sent to the County Counselor's Office for prosecution."

The statement continues, "he does have a Possession case pending with the County Counselor's Office and we tried to prosecute a case last year on him but it was dismissed for failure to prosecute by the victim."

An attorney with the Prosecutor's Office is reviewing a fourth case and is working with the County Police Lab "to see if testing can be done on the evidence to prove it is a solvent covered by the definition in the statute." Once that information is confirmed, the statement said they may take action.

The Prosecutor's Office is working with Captain Webb with the 3rd Precinct to find a solution.

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