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A couple in South Williamsport allegedly possessed methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it within 450 feet of a preschool, the South Williamsport Police Department reported.

Robert A. Belton, 26, was detained by state parole officers on April 23 after "allegedly making threats and displaying a handgun that he is not to possess," Corporal Carl J. Finnerty wrote in a May 18 affidavit.

Finnerty responded to assist the parole officers at Belton's residence on the 300 block of Curtin St., South Williamsport, around 9:44 a.m. April 23.

The alleged firearm was not found but Belton's girlfriend, Stephanie N. Foster, 25, of South Williamsport, was found carrying a backpack containing a large bundle of clear plastic baggies, a canister of butane fuel, and 16 grams of small, off-white rocks that field tested positive for methamphetamine, Finnerty said.

The backpack also contained a small amount of suspected marijuana, "butane lighters, an electronic scale, paraphernalia for the apparent use of illegal substances, two packages of cigars, additional clear plastic baggies, deodorant and cologne," Finnerty wrote.

As police were escorting Foster away from the scene, Belton reportedly yelled to her, "Don't talk to the cops or I'll kick your (vulgarity)!"

Foster denied ownership of any of the contents of the bag, according to police.

"Foster did admit that the backpack was an older one of hers but has not used it herself. Foster was aware that Belton had used the backpack at times but denied knowing the contents," Finnerty wrote.

Finnerty said Foster completed a search consent form to allow officers to access her phone's memory. Foster also provided her phone's password, according to the affidavit.

"Detective [Devin] Thompson recovered from Foster's cellular phone a photograph showing the off-white substance that appeared to be small rocks and containers that contained the substance," Finnerty wrote. "These items are consistent with the evidence that was recovered from the backpack[.]"

The residence of Foster and Belton is 450 feet away from Messiah Lutheran Preschool, located at 324 South Howard Street, South Williamsport, according to the affidavit. It is 381 feet away from a playground on the west side of the building.

The alleged drug crime happened in a school zone, Finnerty confirmed.

The Lycoming County District Attorney's Office said the school zone sentencing enhancement law changed, doing away with the harsher penalties that used to be assessed to defendants convicted of dealing drugs in a school zone.

Belton and Foster each were charged with one ungraded felony count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, and one ungraded misdemeanor count each of possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered, use/possession of drug paraphernalia, and marijuana - small amount for personal use. 

Belton was incarcerated at the Lycoming County Prison on May 19 in lieu of $25,000 monetary bail set by District Judge Gary A. Whiteman.

Belton is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before Whiteman on June 1. 

Foster was incarcerated on May 5 in lieu of $25,000 monetary bail, but released on supervised bail when the bail type was changed to unsecured on May 8, court records stated.

Foster is scheduled for a formal arraignment before Lycoming County Judge Marc F. Lovecchio on June 8.

Related reading:

Foster - docket sheet

Belton - docket sheet

Correction: A previous version of the story referred to a school zone sentencing enhancement law that no longer applies. A previous version of this story called Foster by an incorrect last name.