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Archive for Wednesday, November 22, 2000

LSD lab rivals largest in U.S.

Authorities seize Wamego huge facility before it begins production

November 22, 2000

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— Federal officers were finishing up their investigations at an LSD laboratory near Wamego that experts are calling one of the largest drug laboratories in the country.

Shirley Armstead, spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration district office in St. Louis, said investigators have discovered enough chemical ingredients found in the drug to produce between 36 million and 60 million doses of LSD.

"They are predicting that this laboratory could have been supplying a third of the LSD in the United States and maybe the world," Armstead said. "This particular laboratory is one of the biggest labs that has been seized in this country."

Armstead said the evidence seized so far indicated the lab had not yet produced any of the drug. She also noted that the DEA had not seized an LSD lab in the United States since 1991.

William Leonard Pickard, 55, and Clyde Apperson, 45, both of San Francisco, are scheduled to be arraigned Friday in federal court in Topeka. A federal court clerk said each defendant faced one count of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and dispense LSD.

The DEA said because of the quantity of chemicals found Nov. 7 at the former missile silo just west of Wamego, each man could spend from 10 years to life in prison.

Pickard was arrested Nov. 7 after a Wamego couple he had asked for a ride to Manhattan became suspicious and called police. Apperson was arrested that day after he was stopped driving a truck in Wamego.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Rogers allowed Apperson to post $200,000 bond last Friday if he agreed that he would forfeit property for failure to appear in court.

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