Man charged with drug, weapons charges

One man was arrested after he allegedly tried to reach for his loaded handgun while struggling with a sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop Tuesday night.

The Cole County Sheriff’s Department arrested and jailed Joseph Ruppel in connection with the incident.

He was charged with distribution, delivery and manufacture of methamphetamine and unlawful use of a weapon. Bond has been set at $5,000.

The department reports a deputy was investigating a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of a church in the 7800 block of Heritage Highway at 8:40 p.m. Tuesday; the car drove off at a high speed.

The deputy chased and eventually stopped the vehicle in the 8000 block of Route D where he started searching the driver for weapons. The deputy took the driver into custody after a brief struggle in which the suspect allegedly tried to reach for a loaded 9mm handgun in the waistband of his pants. Authorities say the suspect does not have a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon.

After the arrest, the deputy searched the suspect and the car. Authorities report finding a large amount of methamphetamine, a pipe for smoking the drug, several plastic baggies and a set of brass knuckles.


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