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.