Officials say Kansas drug ring tied to death; dozens charged

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File photo (CNN) File photo (CNN)
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/KAKE) -

Federal and local authorities say they've dismantled a major drug-trafficking operation in northeast Kansas linked to the 2017 overdose death of a college student.

U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister and other officials said Wednesday that federal criminal charges against more than 50 people in the Manhattan area are part of a single, large drug-trafficking case. The charges were contained in 13 grand jury indictments issued last week and unsealed Tuesday.

Six defendants face a felony charge of conspiring to distribute illegal drugs resulting in the September 2017 overdose of an 18-year-old Kansas State University student. Officials said the student was trying heroin but it also contained the powerful opioid fentanyl.

McAllister said some of the defendants were former Chicago residents and obtained illegal drugs through Chicago.

LIST OF SUSPECTS AND CHARGES

Indictment No. 1 (Nine defendants, conspiracy, overdose death, heroin, fentanyl, and marijuana, $30,000 forfeiture) 

  • Henry Clark, 42;
  • Sylvester Calvert, Jr., 31, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Michael Clavert, 28, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • James Toliver, 39, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Blake Woodward, 23;
  • Kimberly Obrecht, 33;
  • Robert Houston, Sr., 39;
  • Prianna Baggett, 24, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Jeremy Richmond, 27

Indictment No. 2 (Five defendants, heroin, fentanyl, firearms, $30,000 forfeiture)

  • Kevin Henderson, 48, Topeka, Kan.;
  • Kenneth Shorter, 57, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Wayne Ingram, 24;
  • Quinton Shorter, 65, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Shirley Moton, 60, Manhattan, Kan.

Indictment No. 3 (21 defendants, methamphetamine, heroin firearms, $50,000 forfeiture)

  • Dontae Patterson, 39;
  • Michael Walker, Jr.,26;
  • Joseph Hammond, 48, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Dawn Cyphers, 41;
  • Paul Goodman, III, 48, Junction City, Kan.;
  • Sasha Soules-Jones, 31;
  • Deanna Curry, 44;
  • Henry Jones, 33;
  • Reginald Carter, 35;
  • Earnest Johnson, 55, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Mercyjazz Goodridge, 25, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Derrick Blea, 26;
  • Jacob Alexander, 25, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Scott Alexander, 25;
  • Austin Rowzer, 26;
  • Jerome Glaspie, 48;
  • Taylor Hodges, 21;
  • John Leroy Cody Deem, 28;
  • Elizabeth Hoover, 27 Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Nicholas Hodges, 26, Saint George, Kan.;
  • Luke Johnson, 56

Indictment No. 4 (Seven defendants, heroin, $30,000 forfeiture)

  • Christopher Williams, 48, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Diana Moorman, 58, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Michael Murphy, 51, Ogden, Kan.;
  • Melissa Henderson, 36;
  • Quinton Watts, 30;
  • Allison Krosschell, 24, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Timothy Lanshaw, 26, Manhattan, Kan.

Indictment five (One defendant, firearms)

  • Frederick Swinson, 31

Indictment six (One defendant, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, drug involved premise)

  • John Thompson, 59, Manhattan, Kan.

Indictment seven (Four defendants, methamphetamine, marijuana, hydrocodone, firearms, felonious use of a communication device)

  • Paige Jonas, 26, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Trevonn Hall, 20, Ogden, Kan.;
  • Alyssa Hedmon, 28, Manhattan, Kan.;
  • Eric Jerome Tucker, 33

Indictment eight (One defendant, firearms, methamphetamine)

  • Daniel Mainvlle, 35, Manhattan, Kan.

Indictment nine (One defendant, fentanyl, removal of property to prevent seizure)

  • Chanel Toliver, 32, Manhattan, Kan.

Indictment ten (One defendant, methamphetamine)

  • Damon Brown, 44, Westmoreland, Kan.

Indictment 11 (One defendant, heroin, felonious use of a communication device)

  • Jason Simonds, 46, Manhattan, Kan.

Indictment 12 (One defendant, felonious use of a communication device)

  • Jerah Gasser, 26

Indictment 13 (One defendant, firearms)

  • James Atkinson, 50, Manhattan, Kan.

Upon conviction, the crimes in the 13 indictments carry the following penalties:

  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin resulting in bodily injury or death (Clark, S. Calvert, M. Calvert, J. Toliver, B. Woodyard): Not less than 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $5 million.
  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin resulting in bodily injury or death (K. Obrecht): Not less than five years and not more than 40 years, and a fine up to $5 million.
  • Distributing heroin resulting in bodily injury or death (B. Woodyard): Not less than 20 years and a fine up to $5 million.
  • Conspiracy to distribute controlled substances: Up to 20 years and a fine up to $1 million.
  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl: Not less than five years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $5 million.
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking: Not less than five years and a fine up to $250,000.
  • Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine: Not less than 10 years and a fine up to $10 million.
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon: Up to 10 years and a fine up to $250,000.
  • Maintaining a drug involved premise: Up to 20 years and a fine up to $500,000.
  • Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine: Not less than five years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $5 million.
  • Conspiracy to make a false statement to obtain a firearm: Up to five years and a fine up to $250,000.
  • Using Facebook Messenger in furtherance of drug trafficking: Up to four years and a fine up to $250,000.
  • Removal of property to prevent seizure: Up to five years and a fine up to $250,000.

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