The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

December 6, 2012

Stallion lineman faces drug charge

Staff Report
The Daily Star

---- — Authorities have arrested a man in Oneonta whom they described as a major Otsego County heroin dealer.

Steven Rochelle Belton, 43, of 406 Chestnut St. in the Town of Oneonta, was arrested Tuesday night at his home after law-enforcement officers raided it and seized 40 packets of heroin valued at $800, 40 grams of marijuana valued at $400, three electronic digital scales and $14,070 in cash, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

Belton had been a defensive lineman for the Oneonta City Stallions for the past three years, but the team dropped him as soon as it learned about his arrest, co-owner Tom Terry said Wednesday.

“Obviously, his latest issue was something unbeknownst to our organization and since that’s been identified, we cut ties,” Terry said.

“He had a very clean record – no issues with us, definitely not considered a trouble-maker at all,” Terry added. “But when something like that surfaces, it’s our policy as an organization to immediately cut ties with any and all of that type of behavior.”

The raid culminated a month-long investigation by the by the sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division and was conducted by deputies, Oneonta police detectives, investigators from the district attorney’s office and county probation officers.

Belton was arraigned on drug charges Wednesday morning and remanded to the county jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

He has two previous felony drug convictions, and faces up to 15 years to life in prison if convicted as a persistent felony offender, according to the press release.