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DPS report

Monday, August 27, 2007

SIKESTON - The Sikeston Department of Public Safety continues to investigate the burglary of Mr. B's Drive Up Package and more suspects have been arrested.

On Aug. 9 around 1:15 a.m., Sikeston DPS received a burglar alarm from Mr. B's Drive Up Package,t 805 S. Main in Sikeston. Officers discovered the business had been burglarized and a large sum of money was stolen. Just hours after the burglary occurred, detectives received an anonymous tip stating Rachel Cuellar, 26, of Charleston, S.C., was involved in the crime. Cuellar was located in Sikeston before she was able to leave for South Carolina.

A detective obtained a confession from her and she implicated her brother. Cuellar said her brother, Michael Nelson, 23, of Sikeston, came to her home about an hour after the burglary and gave her a large sum of money. She said Nelson later told her the money was stolen from Mr. B's. According to DPS, Nelson was an acquaintance of the owner and a former employee of Mr. B's. Some of this money was recovered from Cuellar.

Nelson turned himself in at DPS headquarters on Aug. 10, after speaking with investigators by phone. Nelson had and active Scott County warrant from November 2006 for distribution of a controlled substance which had a $50,000 bond.

A detective obtained a confession from Nelson for his part in the burglary. Information gathered alleged Nelson originally conspired with two other subjects to assault the owner of Mr. B's then steal the nightly deposit. Nelson allegedly planned this with Cuellar's boyfriend, Paul Ely, 32, of Charleston, S.C., and a third suspect, whose name being with held pending charges.

After closing the store, the three suspects lost the owner as they followed him to his residence. Apparently this was when it was decided to burglarize the business instead.

Three others were arrested in relation to this burglary, but were later released pending charges through the Scott County prosecutor's office. To date, at least seven subjects have been accused of being involved with this crime. All were arrested within 24 hours of the burglary with the exception of Paul Ely. It was reported Ely fled on Aug. 9 just hours before investigators linked him to the crime.

Charged are: Nelson with first degree attempted assault, first degree attempted robbery, felony theft and second degree burglary. Bond is set at $75,000.

Paul Ely with first degree attempted assault, first degree attempted robbery, felony theft and second degree burglary. Bond is set at $75,000

Rachel Cuellar with felony receiving stolen property. Bond is set at $5000.

Detectives are currently searching for Ely. Anyone with any information regarding this investigation or any other crime is asked to please contact CRIMESTOPPERS at 573-471-1500 or Sikeston Department of Public Safety at 573-471-6200. All tips can remain anonymous.