Lawrence residents indicted in cocaine charges near schools

Neighborhood association had reported suspicious behavior

Two Lawrence men arrested in August on crack cocaine charges were indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Kan.

Maurice Trotter, 30, and Mardell Trotter, 29, were indicted together on five drug-trafficking charges, including conspiring to distribute crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of New York, Kennedy and Central Junior High schools.

The two face additional charges separately.

The Trotters were arrested Aug. 6 after Lawrence Police executed a search warrant on four Lawrence buildings. Police said the search yielded 2 ounces of crack cocaine and 2 ounces of powder cocaine, worth up to $6,000. Police also seized $10,000 in cash and a 9 mm Beretta handgun.

If convicted on the joint charges, the defendants each would face at least 20 years, and up to life, in prison. Additionally, each could face more than $12 million in fines. The charges each defendant faces individually carry the potential for additional fines and prison time.

The Drug Enforcement Unit investigation that ultimately led to the arrests began after members of the Pinckney Neighborhood Assn. filed a complaint with the police early this year about a duplex at 338 Ind. Pinckney residents had noticed a considerable amount of traffic moving in and out of the house. Additionally, the occupants’ pit bull terriers had gotten loose on a number of occasions.

The charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office stem from incidents between November 2002 and August 2004.

A trial date for the Trotters has not been set.