A 57-year-old Lawrence man has pleaded guilty in federal court to a drug charge in connection with a February bust authorities made at a house east of Lawrence.
In his plea agreement, Anthony Wayne Sims admitted he provided an undercover federal officer with chemicals commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine. During a three-month period beginning in November 2009, officers investigated those involved in the ring, according to federal court records.
Sims is one of five people charged the case. He has pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally manufacturing, distributing and possessing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and to distribute hydrocodone, methadone and marijuana, all of which are controlled substances.
The other defendants — who face either drug or counterfeit charges — are Donald Milton Steele, 51, Randy Jay Dyke, 50, and Kimberly M. Cline, 43, all of Lawrence; and Robert D. Billinger, 34, of Kimberling, Mo.
The plea says on Feb. 2, Sims, Dyke and Billinger provided chemicals that can be used to manufacture methamphetamine from Steele’s vehicle to the undercover officer in the case.
In February, law enforcement officials conducted a two-day raid at Steele’s residence, 1706 N. 1500 Road. The property was also home to All Seasons Tree Service, a business Steele owned. The property, which Steele’s family sold after the raid, contained dozens of old cars and trucks.
Prosecutors also allege Steele leased a house he owned in Topeka to other people for making counterfeit money. Once Sims was arrested, according to the plea, he admitted to going to the Topeka residence with Dyke, intending to pick up methamphetamine and counterfeit currency. He alleged it was on orders from Steele.
In exchange for the plea, federal prosecutors have agreed to not file any additional charges in the case against Sims and will recommend a sentence on the low end of the range of sentencing guidelines.
Sims, who remains free on bond, agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in the case, including any testimony against other defendants. He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 13 by U.S. District Judge John Lungstrum in Kansas City, Kan.
The other defendants in the case are scheduled to appear in court Dec. 20.