RYAN D. HOPLIN (d/o/b 7-26-1982), of Hollister, was found guilty by a Taney County jury on Monday, August 26th, of the class C felony of possession of a controlled substance and the class A misdemeanor of possession of drug paraphernalia. The 7-man, 5-woman jury heard all of the evidence in the case on Monday afternoon, then unanimously agreed that Hoplin was guilty of both charges after just about one-hour of deliberation. Circuit Court Judge Mark Orr scheduled Hoplin’s sentencing for October 17, 2013. Assistant Taney County Prosecutor Thomas Kondro tried the case for the State of Missouri.

Hoplin’s drug charges resulted from a search of Hoplin’s room at the Good Shepherd Inn, on Main Street in Branson. Branson Police Officers knocked on the door of the motel room – as part of an investigation – and Hoplin opened the door, cursed, and then slammed the door shut. Once he had the door shut, Hoplin hid his morphine (which was not prescribed to him) in the tank of the toilet in the bathroom. During a subsequent search of the room, officers located the drugs, along with a lighter and soda can with burn marks – both items commonly used to smoke drugs such as morphine.

The class C felony for which Hoplin was found guilty carries a maximum punishment of seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and a fine not to exceed $5,000.00. Hoplin was already on supervised probation for a previous felony domestic assault he pleaded guilty to in 2009, also in Taney County. In the 2009 felony assault case, Hoplin was under the influence of drugs when he beat his girlfriend.