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915 East Country Road
P.O. Box 479
Columbus, Kansas 66725

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3 Arrested in Drug Smurfing Case

Pictured above from left to right is Wayne Flynn, Gus Cole and Brent Smith.


A joint investigation between the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Baxter Springs Police Department resulted in three arrests, following a traffic stop on Wednesday afternoon.

At approximately 3:20 p.m., after conducting surveillance of the suspects, investigators stopped a tan Lincoln Towncar, driven by Wayne Flynn, 50, of Joplin, Missouri for a traffic infraction at the east edge of Baxter Springs City Limits on Highway 166.

Based on the results of the investigation and interviews conducted, three suspects were taken into custody and pseudoephedrine was seized during the traffic stop.

Psuedoephedrine is a key ingredient used in the unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine.

Many drug abusers and those associated with illegal drug activity will travel from town to town and state to state in an effort to obtain pseudoephedrine, which will then be sold to a meth manufacturer in exchange for money or methamphetamine.  This practice is referred to as “smurfing.”

In addition to Flynn, also arrested at the scene were Brent Smith, age 53, and 45 year old Gus Cole, both of Joplin, Missouri.

The three suspects were formally charged in Cherokee County District Court on Friday. 

They have all been charged with Possession of Ephedrine with Intent for Unlawful Use and their bonds have been set at $50,000.00 each.

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