Archive for Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Drug conviction appeal claims ‘outrageous government conduct’

August 8, 2012


Federal prosecutors argue that undercover investigators were correct to broaden their investigation to include methamphetamine manufacturing as part of a 2010 case that resulted in lengthy federal prison sentences for two Lawrence men.

In a recent appeal to the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, attorneys for Randy J. Dyke and Donald Milton Steele accused investigators of exhibiting “outrageous government conduct,” alleging they planted the idea of methamphetamine manufacturing and provided supplies to the two men in an effort to obtain stiffer prison sentences. The case is related to an investigation that included a 2010 raid on Steele’s house east of Lawrence, 1706 N. 1500 Road.

In a response to Dyke’s appeal, prosecutors argue that undercover officers investigating Steele, Dyke and other co-defendants were correct to broaden their investigation because, they allege, Steele had suggested manufacturing methamphetamine “in light of the numerous criminal ventures occurring,” including counterfeiting money and purchasing marijuana.

“The undercover operation that followed was objectively reasonable and tailored to thwart the defendants’ wide-ranging criminal activities,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Tristram Hunt wrote in the government’s response to Dyke’s appeal. “This issue should be denied.”

Hunt also alleged Steele, and not investigators, initially involved Dyke in the methamphetamine manufacturing conspiracy. Dyke received a nearly 20-year prison sentence.

Dyke’s attorney has asked the appellate court to hear an argument on the issue and acquit him of the most serious charges in the case.


msezdsit 5 years, 7 months ago

While the behavior of these two men was reprehensible, that doesn't excuse the behavior of the government, which was also reprehensible. There needs to be better guidelines for law enforcement drawing a distinct line between entrapment and down right participation in a crime to get a conviction.

jaywalker 5 years, 7 months ago

Excuse me, but from a very short piece, devoid of any proof except the allegations of two known felons, you're willing to assert that the investigators' conduct was "reprehensible"?


msezdsit 5 years, 7 months ago

Well, Jay, since this article is all you know about the case, you might want to save your self some embarrassment (or choose your favorite "foot in mouth" sauce") and do a little more research on the matter before making your knee jerk comments. But thanks for the amusement at your expense.

edmclinn 5 years, 7 months ago

You should ask about the "outrageous conduct" of their illegal and criminal warrantless taps on their cars and homes....that will really piss them off. They don't want secret to get out for sure!

jafs 5 years, 7 months ago

Entrapment laws mean that law enforcement isn't supposed to persuade people to act criminally in order to arrest and prosecute them.

One can argue about that, but that's the law.

So, if the police officers here did in fact plant the idea, and entice these guys into the meth idea, it's entrapment, I would think.

local_support 5 years, 7 months ago

Why couldn't law enforcement nail these guys over their other crimes? Why take the risk of a meth lab blowing up in some residential neighborhood.

Darrell Lea 5 years, 7 months ago

They weren't in a residential neighborhood. The house was at least a quarter mile away from any other house on that road. Before the arrests I used to have to stop on the road behind the school bus, which picked up two high school aged kids there every day.

I seriously doubt there will any criminal entrapment charges proven.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm not a lawyer, but if entrapment was an issue here, I would guess that their lawyers made that argument to the judge prior to trial and the judge ruled that it was not entrapment. Now, post conviction, these defendants are basically saying that the original judge made a reversible error. That may or may not be true, and appeals courts will rule on that matter. But it should be understood that in all probability, the trial judge has already ruled on this matter.

jesse499 5 years, 7 months ago

Lets see two crooks get talked in to more crooked stuff to make more crooked money instead of working for a living and it is law enforcement that did wrong. The way I see it anyway to get these drug dealing bums off the street works for me.

Kyle Chandler 5 years, 7 months ago

Sounds good RAMBO, i vote we just invade east lawrence and take no prisoners too, makes sense

jesse499 5 years, 7 months ago

I'd look west for the bosses but what ever.

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