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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Drug suspect back in court

  • A rural Neosho man who was arrested late last month after authorities found meth and two working labs in his home will be back in court in June.
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  • A rural Neosho man who was arrested late last month after authorities found meth and two working labs in his home will be back in court in June.
    William Shane Poole, 48, will appear before Newton County Division II Associate Circuit Court Judge Greg Stremel June 11 for a pre-trial conference.
    Poole faces a Class B felony count of manufacture of a controlled substance, a Class C felony charge of possession of a controlled substance, and a Class C felony count of first-degree child endangerment.
    Authorities with the Newton County Sheriff's Department served a search warrant at Poole's rural Neosho home at 15724 Finch Drive on March 25, and discovered a large amount of methamphetamine and two working "shake-and-bake" meth labs. A 1-year-old child was also present in the home, and was taken into custody of protective services.
    Bond was set at $15,000. Poole is being represented by Renee Gotviagehya, an assistant public defender.
    • • •
    A Joplin man pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of possession of a chemical with intent to manufacture a controlled substance and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia.
    Tim Sargent, 49, entered the plea before Newton County Division II Associate Circuit Court Judge Greg Stremel. A pretrial conference has been set for April 23 in Stremel's courtroom.
    On April 2, deputies with the Newton County Sheriff's Department recovered a stolen truck, construction equipment, a log splitter and components of a meth lab at 12866 Klausen Lane in rural Neosho. No charges have yet been filed on the missing truck or equipment.
    • • •
    Another pre-trial conference has been set for a Seneca woman accused of stealing funds from the city fire department.
    Crystal R. Chew, 34, will be back in court on May 14 for the proceeding, to be held in Judge Greg Stremel's Division II Associate Circuit Courtroom, it was determined in a pre-trial conference Tuesday.
    Chew is accused of stealing $2,658.76 from the City of Seneca by using fire department gas cards to buy fuel for her personal vehicles, according to a probable cause affidavit written by Seneca Police Chief James Altic.
    "A query was conducted on the gas cards that belonged to the Fire Department," Altic wrote. "It was apparent that someone was making unauthorized purchases of fuel on two of the cards."
    Altic said Chew's husband, Kevin, had been a volunteer fireman at the time, though he is no longer with the department.
    According to the affidavit, Seneca police obtained a surveillance photograph of Chews' vehicle at the gas pump at Gas-n-Snack convenience store in Seneca.
    Altic then called Chew in to be interviewed, at which time she allegedly confessed to the stealing.
    "Crystal Chew stated that she had been using two different City of Seneca Fire Department gas cards to purchase fuel for her personal vehicle for at least the past 8 months," Altic wrote.
    Page 2 of 2 - This is not Chew's first stealing offense.
    In 2008, Chew was accused of stealing more than $12,000 from her former employer, the Seneca Special Road District, including more than $8,000 worth of personal purchases made with the district's credit card, according to the probable cause affidavit from that case.
    In August 2009, she was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay back $6,500.
    Chew is still on probation from the 2009 offense, and noted that in her interview with Altic.
    "Crystal Chew, after Miranda, took total responsibility for her actions and explained that she had a problem with stealing and that she 'needed help,'" Altic wrote. "Chew stated that she would get gas cards from the fire trucks and use them and then return them at a later time."
    According to Altic's report, Chew allegedly said that she used the fire department gas cards to offset the expense of driving to and from Joplin for work.

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