A 43-year-old Lawrence man who is accused of making a drug transaction over the phone from a law enforcement interview room plans to plead guilty to federal methamphetamine trafficking charges, according to court records in the case.
An attorney for Joseph Henry Hibbs in a court motion has requested a change of plea hearing after July 18 for his client, who faces several counts and is accused of distributing meth in Lawrence.
Two other co-defendants, David John Kessler, 35, of Lawrence, and Alfonso Salazar Solis, 26, of Kansas City, Kan., pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from October 2010 to February 2011 in the Lawrence area.
According to plea agreements for Kessler and Solis, investigators believed Hibbs had supplied methamphetamine he received from Solis for various deals made around Lawrence since October, including ones at a house near Woody Park in the 200 block of Maine Street and at parking lots at both Walmart stores in Lawrence.
Kessler admitted to selling meth to an undercover officer, and officers had Hibbs set up a meeting with Solis on Feb. 23 at a Kansas City, Kan., motel, where Solis was arrested and admitted he intended to sell meth he had with him to Hibbs.
According to Kessler’s plea agreement, one day earlier while Hibbs was waiting to be interviewed at the Lawrence Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, sheriff’s Detective Chris Thomas recorded two phone calls Hibbs made from the interview room, including a call to Solis.
“Based on training and experience, (Thomas) believed Hibbs made a drug transaction, over the phone, in a law enforcement interview room,” according to Kessler’s plea agreement.
Sentencing hearings for Kessler and Solis are scheduled for Sept. 6.