Officers from 13 law enforcement agencies, including the Allen County Sheriff and Iola Police departments, assisted in a massive drug bust Tuesday, resulting in multiple arrests.
Officers involved in the multi-jurisdictional operation served 10 search warrants and multiple arrest warrants in Iola, Chanute, Stark, Thayer, Buffalo, Paola and Fort Scott.
Seventeen individuals were arrested in the sweep; more are expected.
The operation was announced by Attorney General Steve Six, with cooperation from the Iola and Allen County departments, the Neosho County Sheriff’s Office, the Chanute Police Department, Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Scott Police Department, Paola Police Department, Coffey County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Highway Patrol and the Kansas National Guard Counterdrug Program. Many of those agencies are members of the Southeast Kansas Drug Enforcement Task Force.
Prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Office charged 20 people with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of the materials to make meth, possession of meth, conspiracy to distribute meth and other crimes. Seventeen of those individuals were arrested Tuesday.
Law enforcement officials suspected the individuals of obtaining large quantities of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, using it to cook meth and selling that meth in Kansas communities.
The following Iolans were arrested:
Darin Russell Lansdown, 35, Iola, was charged with one count of conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance (methamphetamine), one count of conspiracy to possess methamphetamine, one count of distribution of methamphetamine, three counts of use of a communication facility (such as a cell phone) to facilitate the manufacture of a controlled substance and two counts of use of a communication facility to facilitate the possession of methamphetamine. Bond was set at $50,000.
Charles Elmer Bruce, Jr., 26, Iola, was charged with one count of conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and one count possession of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine. Bond was set at $50,000.
Also arrested were Travis Eugene Booe, 27, hometown unknown; Frank Lynn Miller, 34, Fort Scott; Gary Eugene Green, 34, Paola; Ryan Terrance Galt, 34, Chanute; Danny Lee Gallagher, 44, hometown unknown; Melanie Laree Bruneau, 53, Stark; Bonnie Michelle Padilla, 25, Chanute; Karl D. Ahrens, 40, Chanute; Gary W. Bever, 55, Chanute; Sheila Lynn Bohrer, 34, Chanute; Brandi Nicole Brown, 33, Stark; Deborah Donnelly, 45, Thayer; Jessica Danielle Miller, 32, Chanute; and Barbara S. Hutson, 46, Buffalo.
One additional man was arrested; his charges are pending.
Charges against Duane Eugene Lansdown and Justin Chad Seabolt last week were also part of the operation. Duane Landsdown was shot by Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents after he allegedly drove at the agents in his car near a suspected meth lab site in Neosho County. He suffered nonlife-threatening injuries.
Additional arrests and charges are expected, Six said.
“This large meth bust, which started with good police work and was executed because law enforcement agencies worked together, is a perfect example of how beneficial programs like the Kansas Meth Initiative and the Southeast Kansas Drug Taskforce can be to the safety and health of our communities,” Six said in a press release.
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