08/27/2013

Final Suspect Arrested in Meth Drug Ring

           Michael Hill

 

A nearly two month investigation into an alleged meth manufacturing and distribution ring in the Baxter Springs area has resulted in a dozen arrests, with the final suspect being taken into custody last week.

Michael A. Hill, 22, of Columbus, was arrested on Wednesday, August 21st, 2013, after being charged by the Cherokee County Attorney’s Office for Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Manufacture of Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursor Chemicals with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine and Possession of Precursor Chemicals with Intent to Distribute.

Hill remains in the Cherokee County Jail without bond.

Hill is the final suspect arrested and charged as the result of a joint investigation being conducted since July 1st by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Southeast Kansas Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Baxter Springs Police Department. 

During the course of that investigation, law enforcement executed search warrants at 1041 Cleveland Street and 117 East 17th Street, both in Baxter Springs, where suspected methamphetamine manufacturing operations were discovered and seized.

In addition to the evidence collected at those crime scenes, law enforcement gained additional information through surveillance, interviews and other investigative tactics.

As a result, twelve suspects were apprehended.  Also arrested as part of this case were:

  • William Gonzalez, 47, Baxter Springs – Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursor Chemicals with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Possession of Meth, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Jimmy Riddle, 43, Baxter Springs – Manufacture of Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursor Chemicals with Intent to Manufacture Meth, Possession of Meth and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Sue Maxwell, 45, Oswego – Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine and Obstruction of Justice
  • Christopher Markley, 26, Columbus – Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Manufacture of Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursor Chemicals with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine and Distribution of Precursor Chemicals
  • Stevie Ann Barrera, 32, Miami, Oklahoma – Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, Possession of Precursor Chemicals with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Possession of Meth, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Lethea L. Gerard, 25, Miami, Oklahoma – Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine
  • James Lewis Tyler, 44, Baxter Springs – Conspiracy to Manufacture, Manufacture of Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursor Chemicals with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine and Distribution of Precursor Chemicals
  • James Edwards, 31, Baxter Springs – Conspiracy to Manufacture, Criminal Possession of a Weapon, Obstruction of Justice and 11 outstanding warrants out of Baxter Springs Municipal Court
  • Cynthia Evans, 29, Columbus – Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Obstruction of Justice, and Failure to Appear in Pittsburg Municipal Court
  • Michelle Yates, 31, Columbus – Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, Manufacture of Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursor Chemicals with Intent to Manufacture Meth and Distribution of Precursor Chemicals
  • Brian E. Smith, 29, Baxter Springs – Manufacture of Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursor Chemicals with Intent to Manufacture Meth, Possession of Meth and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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