A Shawnee County Sheriff’s officer says he witnessed a Lawrence man, accused in a methamphetamine trafficking ring, sell drugs on several occasions, according to court records.
Statements from deputy Bryan Clemmons are detailed in a motion from the defense attorney for Donald Milton Steele, who was arrested with two other Lawrence men, after a Feb. 17 raid on Steele’s home and business east of Lawrence. Steele’s attorney Thomas Telthorst is asking a federal judge to release Steele on bond as he awaits a trial.
“Through a series of surreptitiously recorded meetings, the alleged conspirators discussed the possibility of manufacturing methamphetamine and counterfeiting money at a rental home that (Steele) owned,” according to the motion summarizing testimony from Clemmons.
Steele, 50, Randy J. Dyke, 50, and Anthony Wayne Sims, 57, each face one federal count of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine from Dec. 20, 2009, until Feb. 17. Sims is the only defendant in the case currently out on $25,000 bond.
U.S. District Judge John Lungstrum will consider the motion to also release Steele on bond during a hearing at 9:30 a.m. todayFriday in Kansas City, Kan.
Steele’s attorney argues prosecutors are making too much out of his criminal history, saying that a 1989 drug conviction from Sedgwick County has been expunged and his only other conviction is for a 2003 misdemeanor battery.
The defense also says Steele wants to be able to work to stabilize his finances and that he has been involved in the community “active in scouting and church.”
But Clemmons, the Shawnee County Sheriff’s deputy, has testified that he infiltrated the group of alleged conspirators and that Steele played a role in supplying two guns and assorted false identification documents as part of the scheme. Clemmons also alleges Steele said he could distribute a pound of methamphetamine and bragged about evading capture by using an alias in an earlier criminal case.
The three men were arrested in connection with the raid at 1706 N. 1500 Road, which also housed Steele’s business, All Seasons Tree Service.