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Prosecutor: 2 grand juries hand down multiple indictments

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Two Saline County grand juries have handed down five indictments against four county residents, according to a news release from Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Don Stouffer.

In the indictments are 41 charges, including burglary, stealing, money laundering, pharmacy robbery, armed criminal action and failure to file income tax returns.

The investigation began following a series of burglaries in the county, including the theft of a large number of gold coins from one Marshall family.

As a result of the investigation, Billy Joe Bellamy was indicted on four counts of burglary of a Marshall home, one count of burglary of a Slater home, one count of burglary of a rural Napton home, one count of stealing from the Marshall home, 14 counts of money laundering, one count of pharmacy robbery, one count of armed criminal action and one count of failure to file a Missouri income tax return, according to Stouffer.

Bellamy allegedly used promises of methamphetamine, cash and vehicles to enlist the assistance of others to commit multiple crimes, Stouffer said.

A Marshall woman and a Kansas City-area man were also indicted, but their names cannot be released until after arrests are made.

The grand juries were assisted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Rural Crimes Investigative Unit, the Missouri Department of Revenue's Criminal Tax Investigation Bureau and the Saline County Sheriff's Department.

Stouffer praised the work of the citizens serving on the grand jury and the law enforcement officers participating in the investigation.

"In these cases, a total of 24 citizens serving on two consecutive grand juries, with the invaluable assistance of the Missouri State Highway Patrol Rural Crimes Investigative Unit, refused to stop with the arrest and conviction of three street criminals who were the front men in the Marshall burglary and the Golden Oaks pharmacy robbery," Stouffer said. "Citizens serving on the grand jury remain anonymous, but they know who they are, and the contribution they make to Saline County cannot be measured in time or money. We all owe them our sincere thanks for their service."

Stouffer also commended Cpl. Darren Lilleman of the MSHP Rural Crimes Investigative Unit.

"Cpl. Lilleman believed, as did many law enforcement officers in Saline County, that multiple crimes committed in recent years stemmed from a common source," Stouffer said. "(He) conducted interviews throughout west-central Missouri and the Kansas City metropolitan area and inspected hundreds of pages of bank records in an effort to stop the spate of rural thefts and burglaries in Saline County."

Stouffer noted that Saline County Deputy Sheriff Cindi Mullins helped investigate the Golden Oaks pharmacy robbery in November 2011.

"Saline County is a safer place today because of the efforts of Cpl. Lilleman and Deputy Mullins," Stouffer said.

In addition, a Marshall attorney and his wife were included in the indictments. Thomas Eugene Bolling and Dollia Ann Bolling were charged with three counts of failure to file a Missouri income tax return, Stouffer said.

Thomas Bolling called The Marshall Democrat-News after learning of the indictment to question the charges.

Bolling said it is true he did not file state income tax returns on time for three years, but he has been working with the Missouri Department of Revenue to rectify the situation and has since completed the returns.

"I'm just flabbergasted," he said. "There's never been any mention of criminal charges."

Bolling said his tax troubles were connected to health problems in recent years.

"That's what set me on this path," he said.

Stouffer noted that charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Three other Saline County men were convicted in the pharmacy robbery.

Carl James Morrow Jr. was convicted of second-degree class B felony pharmacy robbery and was sentenced to 10 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Lewis Gene Edde Jr. was convicted of second-degree class B felony pharmacy robbery and was sentenced to 15 years in DOC.

Benjamin James Peterson was convicted of first-degree class C felony tampering, four counts of second-degree class C felony burglary, class D felony possession of burglar's tools and class B felony stealing.

He was sentenced as a prior and persistent offender to seven years in DOC for tampering, seven years for possession of burglar's tools an 20 years for stealing.