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A Duncan man accused of being in possession of narcotics pleaded not guilty to charges Friday morning in Platte County District Court before Judge Robert Steinke.

Chasin P. Renteria, 35, alongside defense attorney Ryan Stover denied his involvement regarding the state’s allegation that he was in possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance, according to court records.

In another court filing, the defendant also pleaded not guilty to two counts of distributing an exceptionally hazardous substance within 1,000 feet of a school zone.

On Dec. 19, 2018, an officer with the Columbus Police Department was dispatched to the Walmart parking lot on the east side of town in regard to two silver vehicles parked near the cart corral by the grocery exit doors, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit. The reporting party had allegedly seen a pipe being passed between occupants and believed they were smoking marijuana.

The officer, court records show, saw a gray Mitsubishi Galant parked near the cart corral being occupied by two men. Approaching the men, the officer reportedly asked what they were doing and they responded by saying they were waiting for another person who was shopping inside of the store.

Both men when asked to identify themselves refused, court records show.

The driver was eventually identified and it was learned that he had two active warrants for his arrest. The vehicle passenger was subsequently identified as the defendant, who also had an active warrant out for his arrest, court records show.

The affidavit shows that a search of the vehicle yielded the discovery of two containers containing a white, crystal-like substance, which field tested positive as being methamphetamine. Marijuana and a marijuana pipe were also allegedly located in the vehicle.

In other district court news:

*Kenna D. Staab, 38, of Columbus was before Steinke to determine whether she was mentally competent to stand trial after pleading not guilty to two charges of a prohibited person being in possession of a deadly weapon. Evidence regarding her mental state was presented to the judge and it was determined that she was unfit to stand trial, according to court documentation. The defendant was ordered to be committed at the Nebraska Regional Center for treatment. Court records show that the case will be scheduled for a hearing at a later date.

*Eli S. Reed, 32, of Lincoln pleaded not guilty to being in possession of a controlled substance, a Class IV felony. Reed is scheduled for a 9 a.m. jury trial on April 1.

*Jeremy J. Kozak, 38, of Columbus pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of violating a protection order, and two counts of stalking, a Class IIIA felony. Under state law, the defendant could face a maximum of three years in prison, 18 months of post-release supervision and a 10,000 fine. Court records show that Kozak is accused of two December 2018 incidents of stalking and violating a previously issued protection order. The defendant is scheduled for a jury trial at 9 a.m. on April 1.

*Cameron R. Shatto, 24, of Columbus pleaded not guilty to charges of third-degree domestic assault, possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person and being in possession of a controlled substance, a Class IV felony. Under state law the defendant could face up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The defendant, represented by Platte County Public Defender Tim Matas, is scheduled for a jury trial at 9 a.m. on April 1.

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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News Editor

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram, Schuyler Sun and The Banner-Press newspapers. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015.

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