Man charged with first-degree meth possession
Published 9:46 am Wednesday, April 20, 2016
An Albert Lea man is facing multiple charges after he was arrested on Sunday for allegedly possessing more than 80 grams of methamphetamine.
Shawn Casey Tope, 35, faces charges of first- and fifth-degree meth possession, both felonies.
Tope was arrested Sunday at about 11:30 p.m. after police received a report from The Heritage Hotel in Albert Lea that a vehicle was parked in the hotel’s parking lot that did not belong to a person registered at the hotel.
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When officers arrived, they reportedly found Tope inside the passenger seat, looking down at his lap making quick movements
with his arms like he was trying to stuff something in his pockets.
Two others were also in the car, Shalayna Beldon, 25, in the driver’s seat, and another woman in the back seat.
Tope was reportedly acting nervous around the officers as they asked him questions. He reportedly denied having anything in his pockets.
When later trying to pat Tope down, officers reportedly found a meth pipe with a cloudy residue inside and a burnt brown residue. He also reportedly had two small baggies containing a combined 1.5 grams of meth.
A search of the interior of the car revealed a white container under Tope’s seat in the car that contained about 82 grams of meth. Officers also found a separate baggie containing 2.8 grams of meth.
Tope has had multiple meth-related charges in the past. In 2003 and 2004, he was convicted of conspiracy to manufacture meth and an attempt to manufacture. In 2011 and 2012, he was convicted of meth possession.
First-degree meth possession carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Freeborn County District Court Judge Steven Schwab ordered a $125,000 bail in the case.
Beldon faces charges of fifth-degree controlled substance possession.
She and Tope are next slated to appear in court May 5.
In addition to the meth possession charges, Tope on Tuesday appeared on a separate charge of being an ineligible person in possession of a firearm.
Authorities found a pistol in Tope’s room after a search of Tope’s home at 205 Giles Place on March 24 following a fire.
Tope is unable to possess a firearm because of his previous convictions.
The weapons charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.
In that case, Schwab ordered a $60,000 bail. His next hearing is slated for May 5.