Ten suspects pleaded guilty to federal charges for participating in a crack cocaine trafficking ring in Lawrence, acting U.S. Attorney Marietta Parker’s office said Tuesday.
The drug ring spanned seven years and put at least 1 kilogram, or about 2.2 pounds, of crack cocaine on the streets every month, prosecutors said.
Two of the suspects, Gerald Dunn and Shaune Frazier, were obtaining ounces of cocaine to be made into crack cocaine for distribution in the Lawrence area, said Jim Cross, Parker’s spokesman.
Cross said co-defendants handled most of the drug distribution from multiple apartments in Lawrence, located in the 400 block of Wisconsin Street, 2400 block of Alabama Street and the 500 block of California Street.
“During searches of these apartments, officers found more than 3 ounces of crack cocaine, plastic wrappings for kilogram quantities of cocaine and assorted paraphernalia used in the manufacture and distribution of crack cocaine,” Cross said. “Working with confidential informants, investigators were able to make a series of controlled purchases from the conspirators.”
The drug ring began in 2000 and continued through 2006, he said.
Prosecutors said these 10 people were involved in the case and are scheduled to be sentenced in May:
l Frazier, 35, of Kansas City, Mo.; Gary Brown, 26, of Leavenworth; and Troy Jarrett, 35, Ahmad Austin, 29, Aaron Jackson, 37, and Leland Roebuck, 47, all of Lawrence, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute or possess with the intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine or more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. The crime carries a penalty of between 10 years and life in federal prison and a fine of up to $4 million.
• Cory Price, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine.
• Mike Wilkins, 31, and Christina Wilkins, 31, each pleaded guilty to distribution of more than 5 grams of crack cocaine.
• Stephen Barbee, 44, of Lawrence, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of crack cocaine.
The case against Dunn, 36, was transferred to federal court in Missouri, where he was to plead guilty, Cross said.
Lawrence police and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office led the investigation, Parker said in a news release. They were assisted by the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.