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Archive for Thursday, February 14, 1991

TRUCK MAY BE SEIZED IN DRUG CASE

February 14, 1991

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A local fitness club owner now faces the loss of his pickup truck in addition to outstanding criminal charges of possession of anabolic steroids.

On Tuesday, Dist. Atty. Jim Flory filed a motion in Douglas County District Court seeking to seize a 1985 Toyota pickup owned by Richard G. Sells.

Sells, 38, owner of Junkyard's Jym, 535 Gateway Dr., was arrested for allegedly attempting to purchase anabolic steroids on Jan. 3. He was charged with possessing steroids with the intent to distribute them.

Kansas statutes allow the state to file lawsuits against defendants in drug-related cases to procure assets that were used in connection with transporting, selling or possessing illegal substances.

To obtain the assets, prosecutors must file a civil suit asking a district judge to order the property to be forfeited. If the defendant cannot convince the court that the assets should not be forfeited, the assets become the property of the state.

HALLEY Kampschroeder, an attorney for Sells, declined to comment on the motion.

Flory had described Sells' arrest as a "reverse bust." Authorities use the term to describe an arrest in which the suspect purchases or obtains illegal substances from a law enforcement agent or an informant. In a normal bust, it's the suspect who sells or distributes drugs.

According to the motion, officers of the Douglas County Drug Enforcement Unit and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation met with an informant "in preparation of an attempt to make a controlled sale of anabolic steroids to Sells."

The informant was outfitted with a body recorder and transmitter, according to the motion, which also says Sells told the informant that he needed some anabolic steroids to sell.

IT STATES that the informant met Sells at Junkyard's Jym. From there, the two went in Sells' pickup to his home. At the house, Sells allegedly purchased anabolic steroids from the informant.

The motion says Sells told the informant that "he (Sells) could `move' or sell all of certain types of anabolic steroids" the informant could provide. Sells was arrested while driving the informant and the anabolic steroids back to the gym, the motion states.

Assistant Dist. Atty. Rick Trapp declined comment on the motion.

However, Trapp said filing the motion seeking seizure of a vehicle was not an unusual procedure in a drug-related case.

"We've had several forfeitures over the years," he said.

The vehicle has been in the custody of local law enforcement authorities since the arrest.

Sells was released from jail after posting $4,000 bond.

A preliminary hearing for Sells is scheduled for next Thursday. In addition, Sells has 20 days to respond to the seizure request.

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