Christopher Palmateer


A Butler County man last week was sentenced to a multiple-year probation sentence for crimes committed in neighboring Platte County.

Christopher C. Palmateer, 31, of David City was sentenced by Platte County District Court Judge Robert Steinke to spend the next three years on probation after being convicted of attempting to possess, deliver, distribute, dispense, or manufacture an exceptionally hazardous substance, a Class IIA felony. Under state law, the defendant faced up to 20 years of imprisonment.

In September 2018, an officer working with the Columbus Police Department was dispatched to the 700 block of 23rd Avenue in Columbus in reference to a report of a suspicious person, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit. Dispatch officials told the officer that they received a report of a male subject passed out in a red car parked in front of the previously mentioned location.

Approaching the vehicle, court records show the officer recognized the man passed out in the car as Palmateer from previously held encounters. The defendant was awoken and during the process, a Ruger high-power pellet gun was seen lying between the front driver and passenger seats which led to the defendant being asked to exit the vehicle, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit.

When the defendant exited the vehicle, court records show that the responding officer detected the odor of marijuana. A search of Palmateer led to the discovery of a burnt marijuana cigarette, a sizable amount of cash and a red smoking pipe containing burnt marijuana residue.

Another officer subsequently arrived at the scene and a search of Palmateer’s vehicle was completed. During that search, court records show that a small clear plastic baggie was located in a storage compartment left of the steering wheel that contained a white crystalline substance that tested positive as being 1.7 grams of methamphetamine.

Several other small empty bags were located in the vehicle, along with a half-drank beer and a notebook that appeared to be a ledger for keeping track of drug transactions, court records show. A search of the Nebraska Criminal Database showed that Palmateer was previously convicted of being in possession of marijuana less than an ounce in March 2007.

The defendant was originally charged with being in possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, being in possession of a controlled substance, being in possession of marijuana less than an ounce second offense, being in possession of drug paraphernalia and having an open container. The charges were ultimately amended prior to sentencing.

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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