Two Jefferson County men arrested June 3 at Perry Lake on felony drug charges have pleaded not guilty to the charges in federal court.
Robert R. "Rick" Weeks, 36, rural Oskaloosa, and Daniel C. Easum, 38, rural Perry, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to possess marijuana with the intent to sell. Weeks also was indicted for possessing a firearm during a drug transaction. Weeks also pleaded not guilty to the second charge.
A federal grand jury indicted the two men Thursday, according to a court deputy.
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Ronald D. Newman ordered the two men to appear before U.S. District Judge Richard D. Rogers at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 3 in U.S. District Court in Topeka. All pretrial motions will be heard and a trial date will be set at the Aug. 3 hearing.
Both men are free on $20,000 unsecured bond.
KYLE SMITH, assistant attorney general assigned to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, said Weeks and Easum were arrested June 3 at the Perry Lake Marina. The arrest occurred during what Smith alleges was an "attempted transaction" involving 25 pounds of marijuana.
In addition to the marijuana, authorities seized four vehicles, $145,000 in cash and several firearms from the suspects, Smith said.
The arrests were the result of a two-month investigation by Kansas, Oklahoma and Jefferson County officials. Three agents from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, nine KBI agents and two Jefferson County sheriff's deputies were involved in the investigation and resulting arrests, he said.
SMITH SAID he considers the arrests to be major and that he considers the two men to be more than intermediate-level drug dealers.
The investigation also led authorities to two other men who were arrested in Topeka June 4, Smith said. The Topeka arrests netted 200 pounds of marijuana, $85,000 in cash and two vehicles, he said.
Arrested in Topeka were Richard R. Gainer, 27, Lane, and Donald M. Provence, 32, Overland Park. The two also were indicted by a grand jury June 7 and pleaded not guilty Tuesday to one count each of conspiracy to possess marijuana with the intent to sell.
Judge Newman ordered the pair to appear again in front of U.S. District Judge Dale E. Saffels at 9 a.m. July 16 in federal court in Topeka.