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Man accused of cooking meth, threatening woman

Editor's note: According to Platte County Attorney Carl Hart Jr. on May 2, 2019, the Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab after this initial article published reported that the suspected substance (i.e., recovered from Mr. Rupp’s basement) was analyzed and determined to not be methamphetamine. Thus, the drug manufacturing charge was deemed to have no factual merit whatsoever and was not prosecuted (dropped). 

The other matters referred to in the article were resolved in county court, with Mr. Rupp pleading “no contest” to “Domestic Assault in the Third Degree” and “Stalking,” both class I misdemeanors, and resulted in Mr. Rupp being placed on probation on January 18, 2018 for a period of 18 months., according to Hart. The county attorney said Rupp has been satisfying all the terms and conditions of his probation at this time, since being placed on probation.

COLUMBUS — A 51-year-old area man is accused of manufacturing drugs and stalking an area woman he has been estranged from over the past six months.

Mark Rupp was freed from jail this week after posting a $150,000 bond, 10 percent allowed for release, on charges of manufacturing and possession of methamphetamine and two counts each of terroristic threats and stalking in connection with incidents that began last fall.

Platte County Court Judge Frank Skorupa lowered Rupp’s bond after hearing defense arguments that the defendant is a lifelong area resident who has strong ties to the community and no prior criminal history.

The drug manufacturing charge is a Class II felony, punishable by up to 50 years imprisonment. The terroristic threats charges are Class IIIA felonies, each carrying a maximum penalty of three years in prison. The stalking charges are Class I misdemeanors, each with a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

According to court documents, a sheriff’s office investigation got underway in late March with a third-party report to authorities of allegations of Rupp’s menacing behavior and possible involvement with drug manufacturing.

Deputy Christopher Spale wrote in his probable cause arrest statement that the victim reported finding threatening notes in the pocket of her coat on numerous occasions.

Rupp, the deputy wrote, also reportedly showed up at the victim’s workplace in January and “acted like he had a gun in his coat and that it was pointed (at the victim).”

In late March, the victim told authorities Rupp had a history of meth use and that there was likely drug paraphernalia in the basement of the home they shared, before granting Spale permission for a search.

“(The victim) advised that Rupp spends a lot of time in the basement and that she suspected that he was using drugs,” Spale wrote in his statement.

Members of an area drug task force searched the residence’s basement in early April and seized two gas masks, a torch, propane tank with a torch attached, hydrofluoric acid, battery casings, glass beakers and pipes and five jars containing a clear liquid that later tested positive for meth.

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