Federal agents served search warrants and made arrests in Johnson and Douglas counties Wednesday as part of a major drug investigation against 25 people.
The suspects are charged in a criminal complaint alleging they conspired to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of high-grade marijuana from April 2008 through June 2012. One thousand kilograms is equal to more than a ton.
The complaint, which was unsealed this week, indicates that a Lawrence police officer deputized with the Drug Enforcement Administration was central to the investigation, which involved court-approved wireless phone taps. The marijuana was allegedly shipped in crates from a cellphone store in Hayward, Calif., to a warehouse at 4521 Metropolitan Ave. in Kansas City, Kan.
The operation continued into Wednesday evening.
“We’ve got a lot of people to round up,” said Jim Cross, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Kansas.
At least one of the search warrants was believed to be for a location near 115th Street and Longview Road in Olathe. The Johnson and Douglas county sheriff’s departments assisted in the operation.
If convicted, the defendants face 10 years to life in prison and fines up to $10 million.
The defendants in the complaint::
• Los Rovell Dahda, 30, Lawrence.
• Roosevelt Rico Dahda, 30, Lawrence.
• Sadie Jolynn Brown, 25, Lawrence.
• Justin Cherif Pickel, 32, San Lorenzo, Calif.
• David James Essman, 35, Lawrence.
• Amos Moses Hurst, 31, Seattle.
• Phillip Villereal Alarcon, 43, Hayward, Calif.
• Jeffery David Paiva, 39, Union City, Calif.
• Mark Lee Romero, 31, Lawrence.
• Samuel Villeareal III, 32, Overland Park.
• Peter Park, 41, Olathe.
• Wayne Suhan Swift, 39, Hayward, Calif.
• Charles Thomas Kreisler, 38, Kansas City.
• James Michael Soderling, 42, Fort Bragg, Calif.
• Simon Andrew Tyson, 27, Kansas City.
• Trent Jordan Percival, 32, Overland Park.
• Chad William Pollard, 34, Lenexa.
• Jason Marcus Hansen, 38, Lenexa.
• Daniel Mark Sieber, 31, Lawrence
• Justin Jerome Mercer, 35, Olathe.
• Jacob Paul Forbes, no other information available.
• Chad Eugene Bauman, 33, Lawrence.
• Carey Lynn Willming, 36, Lawrence.
• Michael Shane Witt, 37, Olathe.
• Stephen Mallsion Rector, 50, Kansas City, Kan.