Local man arrested in cocaine bust
Officers of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office arrested a South Lake Tahoe man as he returned from an alleged cocaine buy.
Robert M. Bell, 38, was arrested late Friday for suspected transportation of cocaine. A drug-detecting dog reportedly sniffed out 36 grams of the controlled substance after Bell was stopped for driving without a license on U.S. Highway 50.
The sheriff’s office, along with the South Lake Tahoe Police Department and California Highway Patrol, said they obtained information regarding Bell and the transportation of cocaine into the region Friday. Authorities, according to that information, suspected Bell would return to the South Lake Tahoe area Friday evening with cocaine for distribution.
At 11:40 p.m., an El Dorado County sergeant saw Bell’s white Mercedes Benz eastbound on Highway 50 in Meyers.
After stopping the vehicle, Bell was indeed found to be driving without a license, according to reports.
Tracker, the drug-detecting dog, was brought to the scene and reportedly located the narcotics hidden in a hand cleaner container in the vehicle’s trunk.
After his arrest, Bell reportedly cooperated with authorities leading to the discovery of approximately a pound-and-a-half of marijuana, a scale and information implicating another individual who was maintaining a place where controlled substances were sold.
Bell was booked into the El Dorado County Jail in South Lake Tahoe in lieu of $15,000 bail.
Bell bailed from jail, but was arrested Saturday afternoon at his Elm Street residence for allegedly threatening to kill his neighbor.
According to the police department, Bell believed his neighbor provided police with the information that led to his traffic stop and subsequent narcotics arrest the previous evening.
Bell is now being held in lieu of $50,000 bail, charged with the felony version of making threats. Police said the arresting officer must believe that the suspect will carry through with the threat for it to be a felony charge.
“This investigation once again demonstrates the cooperative team effort put forth by local law enforcement agencies to further the fight against unlawful drug use,” EDSO Sgt. Les Lovell said.
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