6:30 AM
James Strickler (mug shot SCSO)

A man from Branson West will be arraigned in circuit court next year after he was bound over for trial following his preliminary hearing earlier this week.

Authorities say James Strickler,41, told Stone County deputy Taylor Jenkins that he knew he was going to find out that his truck was reported as stolen after Jenkins saw his vehicle behind a Rantz' convenience store Branson West in the early morning hours of August 24th.  Jenkins said authorites had been keeping and eye on the businesses in that strip center after burglaries had been reported by business owners.

Strickler told Jenkins that he had gotten the sand bags and landscaping rocks found in the back of his truck from a storage unit in Springfield.  Jenkins asked Strickler for permission to search the truck, which Strickler refused.  After the deputy ran the truck and Strickler proved the vehicle was his, he was given permission to leave.  Shortly after that, Jenkins radioed dispatchers to put a stop and hold on the vehicle after he discovered items matching those in the back of Strickler's vehicle strewn behind the business.

 At that time Strickler's vehicle was searched, without a warrant, and 20 grams of alleged methamphetamine in the man's vehicle.

Strickler's attorney, Stacie Bilyeu, told the court that Jenkins did not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to have Strickler detained, and the her client was never told he could leave.  Judge Alan Blankenship says she will have to take those points up in a suppression hearing.

Strickler was originally charged with possession of a controlled substance., however, those charges were amended to include possession with the intent to distribute and trafficking in stolen identities after authorities found multiple ID's in Strickler's wallet

He is scheduled to be arraigned in circuit court on January 8th.