Federal officials this week significantly broadened a drug trafficking case filed against three Lawrence men in February.
Authorities now allege that one of the men was at the center of a counterfeiting, identity theft and drug distribution ring.
In a new indictment, filed in federal court in Kansas City, Kan., prosecutors added two defendants and more charges against the original three defendants.
These five people now face charges: Donald Milton Steele, 51, Randy Jay Dyke, 50, Anthony Wayne Sims, 57, and Kimberly M. Cline, 43, all of Lawrence; and Robert D. Billinger, 34, Kimberling, Mo.
The indictment, which was unsealed this week, alleges that Steele developed a plan last December to pay for a large shipment of marijuana with counterfeit money.
The wide-ranging, 13-count indictment also alleges:
• Steele leased a house he owned in Topeka to other people for making counterfeit money.
• Steele and Cline and others obtained stolen identification documents, credit cards and checkbooks. And Steele, Dyke and others obtained printers and a laptop computer to make the counterfeit money.
• In February, Steele directed Dyke and Sims to retrieve $10,000 in counterfeit cash from the residence in Topeka. Also that month, Dyke passed a counterfeit bill at Harper Corner Square Liquor in Lawrence.
• Steele and Cline provided a stolen Kansas identity card and stolen checkbooks to another person to purchase goods, including a truck.
• Steele, Dyke, Sims and Billinger conspired to manufacture and distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and to distribute hydrocodone, methadone and marijuana.
Steele, Dyke and Sims initially were charged with conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, federal prosecutors said.
In February, officials conducted a two-day raid at Steele’s residence, 1706 N. 1500 Road. The property also was home to All Seasons Tree Service, a business owned by Steele.
The property, which Steele’s family sold after the raid, had contained dozens of old cars and trucks.