A traffic stop in late January resulted in drug trafficking charges being filed against the man behind the wheel of the vehicle, according to electronic court records.
On June 8, Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Becker charged Brian R. Bell, 27, of Union, with one count of second-degree drug trafficking, a Class B felony, and one count of unlawful use of a weapon and a controlled substance, a Class E felony.
The announcement of these charges was followed by additional charges being brought against Bell on Friday, after deputies with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department completed a search of a residence in the Riverview Trailer Court in Union.
During the search of the residence, detectives found and seized “several ounces” of suspected crystal methamphetamines and guns. Among those taken into custody at the home was Bell, who has been charged with second-degree drug trafficking and unlawful use of a weapon. His bond was set at $75,000 cash only.
A 26-year-old female was also taken into custody at the home, but her identity was not released.
In a press release announcing his arrest, Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton said this is the sixth narcotics-related case involving Bell since October 2020. Collectively, these cases have resulted in the seizure of more than 12 ounces, or 340 grams of methamphetamine, from Bell. The previous cases include investigations led by the Union Police Department, the Sullivan Police Department, the sheriff’s department and the Washington Police Department, which arrested Bell in January on drug trafficking allegations.
In January, an officer with the Washington Police Department observed a purple-colored Cadillac pulling in behind a store in the Washington Crossing Shopping Center, despite the store location being closed.
When the officer ran the license plates on the vehicle, the plates returned as belonging to an Oldsmobile, not a Cadillac. The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the vehicle’s driver — later identified as Bell — continued driving to a nearby gas station.
When the officer approached the vehicle, he reported he was able to smell marijuana coming from the vehicle. After taking Bell and passenger Eric Stalcup into custody, officers found drug paraphernalia, a “clear crystal substance” known to officers as methamphetamine, marijuana, two loaded handguns and a scale that would be used to weigh the narcotics.
In total, prosecutors allege that Bell was in possession of more than 90 grams of methamphetamine at the time of his arrest.
Bell was previously found guilty in a Franklin County court for the “distribution, delivery or manufacture of a controlled substance.” If found guilty on the new charges, Bell, who is now considered a prior drug offender under state law, could face up to 30 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. He would not be eligible for parole.
Charges have not been filed against Stalcup, according to electronic court records.
A June 17 court date has been scheduled for Bell regarding the charges related to the traffic stop in January. During an hearing held earlier this month, Bell waived his right to a formal arraignment and pleaded not guilty.
A court date has not been scheduled yet for the charges related to the raid on his home.