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JC man placed on probation for weapons charge

A Jefferson City man was placed on five years supervised probation for pleading guilty to a charge in connection with a November 2013 incident where he tried to reach for his loaded handgun while struggling with a sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop.

Joseph Ruppel, 24, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon.

For his guilty plea to a charge of distribution, delivery and manufacture of methamphetamine, he was referred to drug court.

Cole County Sheriff’s Department reports show a deputy was investigating a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of a church in the 7800 block of Heritage Highway when 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 Ruppel for weapons.

The deputy took Ruppel into custody after a brief struggle in which Ruppel tried to reach for a loaded 9mm handgun in the waistband of his pants. Authorities said Ruppel did not have a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon.

After the arrest, the deputy searched Ruppel and his 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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