A federal judge has sentenced two Lawrence men to serve lengthy prison sentences for their role in making counterfeit money and trafficking drugs.
Donald Milton Steele, 52, was sentenced to a 25-year prison sentence, and Randy J. Dyke, 52, received a sentence to serve 19 years and six months, said Jim Cross, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom. U.S. District Judge John Lungstrum handled the case.
The men were charged following a 2010 raid on a house east of Lawrence. Both men were convicted last July of six counts total, including possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.
During a trial, federal prosecutors accused Steele of developing a plan in 2009 to pay for a large shipment of marijuana with counterfeit money, and prosecutors said he and Dyke set up a house he owned in Topeka for the counterfeiting.
Steele provided stolen checkbooks, identification documents and credit cards. The checks were used to purchase equipment for the operations, and in February 2010 Dyke passed what he believed to be one of the counterfeit bills at Harper Corner Liquor, 2200 Harper St.
Prosecutors said also that month Steele directed Dyke and another man to retrieve $10,000 in counterfeit money and more than 50 grams of methamphetamine that Steele and Dyke had conspired to have manufactured from the Topeka house.
On Feb. 17, 2010, authorities raided Steele’s residence, 1706 N. 1500 Road. The property was also home to All Seasons Tree Service, a business Steele owned. After the raid, Steele’s family sold the property, which contained a house, as well as dozens of old cars and trucks.
Robert D. Billinger, of Missouri, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge last June, and Anthony Wayne Sims, also of Lawrence, pleaded guilty to the same conspiracy count last October. Kimberly M. Cline, of Lawrence, also pleaded guilty to fraud in June in connection with the case.