A local business owner has been sentenced in four drug trafficking cases as well as a case of felony receiving stolen property.
Brian Bales, 47, of Terre Du Lac, appeared before Circuit Judge Wendy Wexler Horn on Sept. 20, where he received five concurrent prison sentences for his involvement in four separate cases of drug trafficking and one case of felony receiving stolen property.
As part of a plea deal, Bales entered guilty pleas to the most severe charge in each case and received the maximum sentence in each case to run concurrently for a total of 22 years in prison.
Bales was first charged with first-degree drug trafficking on Nov. 16, 2017, when, during a traffic stop, he was found to be in possession of approximately one and a half pounds of methamphetamine, according to reports.
The second drug trafficking charge came a few months later when, on April 10, 2018, the Mineral Area Drug Task Force served search warrants at Bales’ Terre Du Lac residence and his business — Parkland Power Equipment — located at 4773 Flat River Road in Park Hills.
The search of Bales’ residence turned up 454 grams of methamphetamine, more than 35 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, digital scales and more than $2,000 in cash. At the location of Bales’ business, they reportedly found meth residue and a short barrel shotgun, which was described as a black Mossberg 500 12 gauge with a pistol grip. It was noted that Bales is a convicted felon with numerous felony convictions.
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Bales was arrested at his home and received another charge of first-degree drug trafficking after the searches.
On Oct. 7, 2018, Bales was charged with felony receiving stolen property. Bales had reportedly been in possession of some high-priced lawnmowers at his Terre Du Lac residence and had attempted to sell them to another Terre Du Lac resident.
The next charge of trafficking drugs came earlier this year when Bales was pulled over on April, 20, by a St. Francois County deputy on Olive Road in Park Hills for a window tinting violation. During the traffic stop, a St. Francois County K-9 unit had a positive alert for drugs on the vehicle. Deputies searched Bales’ vehicle and recovered 486 grams of methamphetamine, 430 grams of marijuana, and 6 grams of cocaine, according to reports. For this drug seizure, Bales was charged with second-degree drug trafficking.
Bales received his fourth drug trafficking charge last month when he was stopped on Marty Drive in Desloge and arrested for driving on a suspended license. While taking Bales into custody, the arresting officer reportedly smelled the odor of marijuana. A K-9 unit was called to the scene and alerted to the presence of a controlled substance at the driver's side door and in the trunk of the vehicle.
During a physical search of the vehicle, officers located a baggie of what was identified as marijuana in the driver's door panel of the car. Officers also located a box in the trunk of the vehicle that was not locked. Inside the box, officers found $10,140 in cash, 92 grams of a white crystal substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine, two baggies of a green leafy substance that was identified as marijuana, and two used syringes. A gun was also found in plain sight near the passenger's seat of the vehicle. Bales was arrested and charged with second-degree drug trafficking.
Prior to his most recent arrest, Bales had been free on a $500,000 bond since June.