Sherriff’s office busy with busts, manhunt and distress call

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA MARTENS
In the past week, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office has been involved in the apprehension of a man suspected of stealing anhydrous ammonia, drug arrests, a search warrant obtaining syringes and possible methamphetamines, a manhunt for a man accused of shooting his landlord and the distress call of a disabled plane.

— In rural Peabody, at about 3:45 a.m., Feb. 19, a farmer noticed headlights in a field. A man in a truck fled when the farmer investigated the lights and ran his truck into a 6-foot gully, according to Lee Becker, Marion County Sheriff.

Responding to the scene at 80th and Limestone were Becker, Sgt. Jeff Soyez, Undersheriff Randal Brazil and deputies Larry Starkey and Rollin Schmidt.

“The person was attempting to steal anhydrous (ammonia) out of a tank at the farmer’s place,” Becker said. “We were able to shut off the valve on the tank. However, we had to let the anhydrous in the hose bleed off.”

James A. Chiasson, 49, of Hatfield Green was arrested and released on $5,000 bond.

— At Eastshore development around the Marion Reservoir area, Feb. 20, a search was made of a single-wide trailer, located at 2121 Kruse.

Sgt. Jeff Soyez and Deputy Mike Jeffries arrived at 10:30 p.m. at the home of nine residents and obtained a search warrant.

“Once they got there, they discovered an active ‘meth’ lab and several suspects,” Becker said. “We found drug paraphernalia, methamphetamines and marijuana.

In addition to Soyez and Jeffries, responding to the scene were Marion Police Department, the Hillsboro Police Department deputy Larry Starkey and Becker.

“The Marion Ambulance and fire department came out because of the active ‘meth’ lab,” Becker said. “The people attempted to dump the lab when they realized we were there.”

Those arrested were Kent Rich, 50, Judith Evans, 39, Jeanine Evans, 42, and Duane Evans, 21, all of the home.

Another female in the home was detained but not arrested.

At press time, Duane Evans was still at the county jail, and the remaining three suspects were released on bonds.

— In Florence, Feb. 22, the sheriff’s department received a call about a residence at 2180 S.W. 60th.

The granddaughter of an elderly resident reported finding “some syringes and possibly some methamphetamines” Becker said, when she visited her grandmother-who was under the supervision of caretakers in the home.

“Deputies responded and did find drug paraphernalia and methamphetamines,” Becker said.

Deputy Aaron Waddell obtained a search warrant.

“The search warrant was conducted, and we’re waiting for the deputy’s report,” Becker said. At press time, Becker said the department could not release any names because the suspects had not been arrested. “But we know who they are because they work for the elderly person,” he said.

“I would encourage people, if you have a father and mother with someone coming in, check on them every once in a while to see what’s going on.”

— A Morris County manhunt for a male suspected of shooting his landlord was initiated the afternoon of Feb. 22 and resulted in an arrest the morning of Feb. 23.

The suspect’s name was not available at press time, according to the Morris County Sheriff’s Office in charge of investigating the incident.

“Marion sheriff’s officers Jeff Soyez and Deputy Aaron Waddell helped with the search during the night to secure the northeast corner of Marion County because (the suspect) had ties back to the Lost Springs area,” Becker said.

“We set up a soft-perimeter that night to keep the guy at bay. We called off the search, because it was warm enough that he could hunker down and stay where he wanted to.”

On the morning of Feb. 23, the suspect was seen near the Coneburg Inn in Peabody and later arrested with methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia in his possession.

“He was seen out in the field in Morris County, which is a mile from the Marion/Morris line,” Becker said.

“Deputy Mike Vinesky and I responded up there to assist Morris County. The suspect surrendered to Kansas Highway Patrol officers.”

— The morning of Feb. 23, a plane flying 10 miles southeast of Marion was reported as having it’s engine out, and a distress signal was sent to the area. Marion fire, ambulance, police and sheriff’s departments responded at the Marion Airport.

The plane was able to land safely at the Marion Airport, Becker said.

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