Retired patrolman’s gun recovered in traffic stop

Friday, August 29, 2008 | 7:01 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA - During a traffic stop Thursday night, Columbia police found a handgun in the car of a Columbia man. The gun belonged to a retired Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper.

Tremaine Bell, 28, was pulled over due to loud music coming from his vehicle on Austin Avenue near Garth Avenue, according to Captain Zim Schwartze of the Columbia Police Department. While arresting Bell for peace disturbance, officers spotted the loaded Model 60 Smith & Wesson revolver lying on the driver's side floorboard of Bell's car. A Missouri State Highway Patrol logo was engraved on the handgun.

The identity of the retired patrolman is not known, but the theft of the handgun occurred in November 2007 in Macon. Police obtained this information through the weapon's serial number, Schwartze said.

Bell was arrested Thursday on suspicion of possessing a concealable firearm as a felon. At the time of the arrest, he was on supervised probation for previous drug trafficking convictions.

Bell pleaded guilty to one count of distribution, delivery, manufacture or production of a controlled substance in Cole County in 2006. He pleaded guilty to two counts of the same offense in Audrain County in 2007.

Arresting officers were with the Street Crimes Unit, a section of the Columbia Police Department devoted to building cases for "career criminals" that was enacted on June 30.



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Glen Slater August 29, 2008 | 8:27 p.m.

This is not a surprise. If the police would take such so-called "minor offenses more seriously and with more vigor (although I don't consider quality-of-life issues to be "minor"), they would find a lot of pretty slimy characters with guns, drugs, and other contraband in the car. Why don't they take it more seriously? Good question, right??? Glen

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro August 29, 2008 | 8:56 p.m.

LOUD MUSIC COMING FROM HIS VEHICLE!!! I never heard of such a thing...(It's about time vehicular ghetto blasters are pulled over by the cops for disturbing the peace.) More power to the peacemakers!
-And by the way, "ghetto blaster" is not intended to be a racist remark. There's plenty of us white folk that should be hassled for cranking up the volume just to show off our super duper sound system.

(Report Comment)

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