Suspected theft leads to felony drug charge

— By DAVID A. WILSON

Democrat Staff

A felony drug charge has been filed in Moniteau County Court as a result of investigation into a suspected theft. The charge was filed against a person on the premises of the investigation, which was near Tipton.

According to court documents, the Moniteau County Sheriff's Department responded to a call on Thursday, March 21, involving the alleged theft of a small children's tractor. The owner of the small tractor is alleged to have observed a pickup driving along a road with the toy tractor in the back, followed it, and when it turned into a driveway, he is alleged to have blocked it in with his own vehicle.

In checking the stories of all concerned, responding deputies determined the toy tractor was missing from the barn in which it had been stored. They also determined the tractor appeared to have been picked up from along a fence row some distance from the location it was thought to have been at. Since no proof of an actual theft was discovered, no charges were filed.

During the course of the investigation where the tractor was found in the back of a pickup, officers discovered a crystaline substance in plastic baggies which had been in the possession of William L. Belt, 50, California.

Belt was charged with Class B Felony Distribution, Delivery, Manufacture, Production or Attempt to or Possession with Intent to Distribute, Deliver, Manufacture, Produce a Controlled Substance. If convicted on this charge, the defendant could face five to 15 years or life without the possibility of parole or probation. Bond has been set at $30,000.

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