Archive for Thursday, November 18, 2004

Recent drug arrests coincidental

Police don’t think methamphetamine cases related

November 18, 2004

Police have no reason to think Eudora's two recent seizures of methamphetamines and the products and equipment used to make them are related, said Police Chief Greg Dahlem.

Law enforcement officers arrested three men -- including one of Kansas' Most Wanted -- and collected a host of illegal substances Nov. 10 in a drug bust at a Eudora residence.

Just four days before, officers exercised a search warrant in Eudora and arrested two others suspected of producing methamphetamine.

The men arrested Nov. 10, taken into custody after a search that afternoon in the 1300 block of Cherry Street, are believed to have been manufacturing methamphetamine somewhere nearby.

Arrested were Johnathan Read, 22, and Kevin Reed, 24, both of Eudora, and William (Bill) Francis, 39, whose residence was unknown. Francis is listed as one of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation's most-wanted criminals for bail and personal recognizance violations.

Eudora Police Chief Greg Dahlem said the Nov. 10 arrests were made after an ongoing investigation by the Eudora department, the Lawrence Police Department and the Lawrence-Douglas County Drug Enforcement Unit.

Officers were at the residence looking for one suspected cook, Dahlem said, and found two other suspects with paraphernalia on them. Later realizing they'd nabbed one of the KBI's most wanted was an extra bonus, Dahlem said.

"They did a good job," he said of the officers.

During their search of the residence, officers seized methamphetamine, a meth "how-to" book and video, scales, and a large quantity of pseudoephedrine tablets. A handgun with ammunition, hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana and drug paraphernalia were also found in the home.

Although they found many of meth's ingredients, Dahlem said police did not find an actual meth lab in the home on Cherry Street. The suspects, he said, probably did their manufacturing, or "cooking," at other places in the Douglas County area.

"Basically, the three individuals that were arrested, that were the cooks, pretty much just went from place to place," Dahlem said. "At this time we don't think they were cooking in that residence."

Meth-making setups are often of transportable size, Dahlem said, enabling cooks to float around.

"The labs are very, very small," he said. "A lot of times you can get almost everything you need for a working lab in nothing more than the size of a small cooler."

The Nov. 10 search revealed a doubly dangerous situation, Dahlem said, about which citizens would be wise to be concerned.

"Anytime you have anybody messing with meth, you know typically the chemicals they use

are very volatile," Dahlem said. "With the weapons, they should be even more concerned. Normally people who are into drugs are very, very paranoid."

Dahlem said the investigation that eventually caught the men stemmed from a citizen tip. He encouraged citizens to make it a point to report any suspicious activity to the police.

"We try to stress that anytime citizens have a concern, fear or suspicion that anything like this is going on, don't hesitate to call," he said. "We rely on the public."

During the previous case Nov. 6, police seized what they believe to be a meth lab and arrested two other suspects -- a 44-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman -- believed to be producing the drug at another residence in Eudora.

Dahlem said Tuesday that officers were still investigating the case and waiting on results from the KBI lab. Because the investigation is ongoing, the address and suspects' names were not released.

-- Contributing: Erinn R. Barcomb

Commenting has been disabled for this item.