Jury finds Missouri man guilty of meth charge

William K. Zabriskie
Posted: Feb. 15, 2013 10:13 am Updated: Mar. 1, 2013 11:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

An Adams County jury found a Missouri man guilty Thursday of unlawful methamphetamine conspiracy.

It took the jury only two hours to decide that William K. Zabriskie, 35, of Calhoun, Mo., was guilty of the Class 1 felony. He faces a mandatory prison sentence between eight and 30 years when he is sentenced March 22 by Judge Thomas Brannan.

First Assistant State's Attorney Gary Farha said Zabriskie was one of three men who attempted to deliver anhydrous ammonia June 12 to an address in Quincy. Also arrested were Caleb Colliver, 30, of Knob Noster, Mo., and Jon Morton, 27, of Hannibal, Mo.

Colliver was sentenced to 15 years in the DOC in September after pleading guilty to methamphetamine precursor trafficking. Morton was sentenced to five years in the DOC in August on a count of possession of methamphetamine, less than five grams. At the time of their arrests, all three men were on parole from the Missouri Department of Corrections for various drug convictions.

Colliver was one of two witnesses to testify on Zabriskie's behalf. Farha said Colliver tried to convince the jury that Zabriskie didn't know about the anhydrous ammonia. The group was charged with bringing the anhydrous ammonia over state lines. Farha said that Colliver claimed the group obtained the anhydrous ammonia in Marblehead.

Agents from the West Central Illinois Task Force said a search of Colliver's vehicle turned up numerous items to make methamphetamine, more than 130 grams of liquid and finished meth, and items used to ingest meth. Agents found a fire extinguisher, containing five gallons of anhydrous ammonia, with a modified valve. Members of the Illinois State Police Meth Response Team, Quincy Police Department and Adams County Sheriff's Department assisted.

Farha said he had eight witnesses testify against Zabriskie, including a confidential source that accepted the delivery of the anhydrous ammonia.

Zabriskie's case originally was set on the October jury docket, but he had a medical emergency the day before the trial was to begin. He had been free on a $50,000 recognizance bond since Oct. 9. He was taken into custody after Thursday's verdict and is being lodged in the Adams County Jail.