A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted 35 people, including several Lawrence residents, alleging that they conspired to distribute five kilograms of a mixture containing cocaine and more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana from 2005 to June of this year.
U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom’s office in June had already announced charges against 25 people, mostly in Johnson and Douglas counties, related to a long-term investigation.
The indictment filed in court this week mentions some new information including that prosecutors are seeking a $16.9 million judgment, alleging the defendants obtained that amount as a result of the drug distribution.
Drug Conspiracy Indictment ( .PDF )
Samuel Villeareal III, a 31-year-old man who prosecutors have alleged supplied marijuana to Kansas University basketball players during the 2010-2011 season, is also charged specifically with attempting to distribute marijuana on May 16, 2011, within 1,000 feet of West Middle School, 2700 Harvard Road. The indictment, which outlines formal charges in a federal case, does not mention the allegations involving KU players.
Grissom’s office last month listed eight charged Lawrence residents in the group as Los Rovell Dahda, 30; Roosevelt Rico Dahda, 30; Sadie Jolynn Brown, 25; David James Essman, 35; Mark Lee Romero, 31; Daniel Mark Sieber, 31; Chad Eugene Bauman, 33; and Carey Lynn Willming, 36. On Thursday prosecutors identified three additional Lawrence residents, Jacob Paul Forbes, 30, Adam Christiansen, 31, and Ryan Kearns, 24.
“The 101-count indictment alleges that defendants Los Rovell Dahda Chad Bauman made millions as the leaders of a drug trafficking organization that operated from 2005 to 2012,” according to a statement from Grissom’s office Thursday. “Prosecutors are asking a federal judge to order more than $16.9 million in cash and real estate that were proceeds of the crimes to be forfeited to the government.”
Bauman and Willming were owners of Ultimate Tan, 2449 Iowa, which was raided June 13, the same day officers made several arrests in the case, and according to an earlier complaint filed before the indictment officers believed the business was set up to conceal drug proceeds and launder drug money.
The indictment also alleges Los Dahda in November 2011 “knowingly and intentionally” opened, leased, rented, used and maintained Gran- Daddy’s BBQ, 1147 W. 23rd St., and managed and controlled it for the purpose of storing and distributing marijuana.
Prosecutors in the indictment accuse the group, including Bauman and Willming, of maintaining “drug-involved premises” in Kansas, Missouri and California as part of the alleged drug ring. Authorities also allege separate defendants possessed drugs with intent to sell them within 1,000 feet of Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence High School, Holcom Sports Complex and New York School.
According to court documents, Villeareal, who has been identified as an Overland Park resident by prosecutors, has Lawrence ties, and he was released on $10,000 bond with his next hearing scheduled for July 30.
At his June 18 detention hearing, assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Morehead alleged Villeareal was a supplier to KU basketball players based on text messages investigators obtained from his iPhone they seized. She called the phone “a key component to this entire investigation.”
“At one occasion law enforcement had Mr. Villeareal this basketball season at the Sprint Center sitting behind the KU basketball bench with a number of the players,” Morehead said, according to the transcript. “So we know that he had probably not only a personal relationship with them but a professional relationship as well.”
The Kansas City Star obtained the transcript of Villeareal’s June 18 detention hearing late last month and posted it on its website.
KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World last week the allegations bothered him but that he was not rushing to judgment as the process played out. Self also declined comment on specific aspects of the case.
Several agencies, including Lawrence police and Douglas County sheriff’s officers, were involved in the long-term investigation.