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Alleged shoplifter also facing drug charges

Gary Allen Barnes

Monday, April 25, 2022 - A Sallisaw man pleaded not guilty April 20 to a felony drug trafficking charge, court records show.

Gary Allen Barnes, 58, was also charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and petit larceny, all misdemeanors.

Barnes was arrested April 10 at the Sallisaw Walmart after store personnel contacted police about an alleged shoplifter.

When a Sallisaw police officer responded to the store, he met with a Walmart security officer, who had detained Barnes for allegedly stealing five men’s watches. The guard told police he witnessed Barnes making his way throughout the store, selecting and concealing the watches in a bag he had brought into the store.

According to the security guard, Barnes then made his way to the self-checkout, where he purchased several items he had in his shopping cart but did not pay for the watches. The watches were reportedly found in Barnes’ pockets after he submitted to a pat-down search.

Barnes also had a black “fanny pack” on his waist, and when the security officer opened that, the first thing he reported noticing was a strong odor of marijuana. There was a medical marijuana container inside the bag, but it instead contained a clear, plastic baggie with a white, crystalline substance inside. Two smoking devices were also found in the bag, one with the white substance in it and the other with a leafy green substance in it.

Field tests confirmed that the white substance in the baggie was methamphetamine, and it weighed 26 grams.

Barnes’ next court appearance is set for 9 a.m. May 11 before Judge Kyle Waters.

Andrea Adams, Staff Writer

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