A man allegedly was found with $6,400 worth of meth Jan. 11 while shoplifting from the Wal-Mart store on Gateway, according to testimony in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
William Burch, 35, pleaded not guilty to trafficking meth, shoplifting and possession of meth. He was ordered held in the Muscogee County Jail under bonds totaling. $7,750 on ever charge aside from trafficking meth. He was denied bond on that charge.
Judge Julius Hunter bound over the case to Superior Court. He also ordered Burch to stay away from Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores in Columbus.
Columbus police were called to the Wal-Mart store at 6475 Gateway around 5:24 a.m. Jan. 11 to investigate a shoplifting in progress.
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Employees said a white man wearing a black jacket and grey pants in the sporting goods section of the store was concealing merchandise. Authorities asked the man, who was identified as Burch, if he was there shopping.
Police said Burch told them he didn’t have any merchandise, and he needed to get his black backpack. An employee had him leave the bag up front while he shopped.
Officials said they searched him and found a glass smoking pipe and black Casio watch worth about $35 in his possession. The watch, which was sold at Wal-Mart, still had the tag attached to it.
“While police were investigating, Mr. Burch continued to state many times that he needed to get his backpack,” the testifying officer told the court.
Police searched his backpack and found 0.5 grams of crystal meth (street value of $50), about two ounces of liquid meth (street value of $6,400), two syringes and a small spoon wrapped in paper.
Officials said he was being transported to the jail when he claimed ownership of all of the evidence aside from the smoking pipe.