Friday, December 2, 2011

Pulled over for Speeding lands Kansas man in jail for pot and over $40K in cash.

Deputy Pulls Over Speeding Car, Finds Drugs, Money Inside

CBS Denver Reports
EAGLE, Colo. (CBS4)-
Two people were arrested after drugs and money was allegedly found in their car when they were pulled over for speeding on Interstate 70.  An Eagle County Sheriff’s Deputy pulled over Erin Colove and Chase Esrich Sunday on I-70 near Eagle. The deputy said the rental car was traveling 97 mph in a posted 75 mph zone. There also was a child in the car. Colove, 25, is from Olathe and Esrich, 22, is from Alton, Mo. The deputy found more than a pound of high grade marijuana and more than $40,000 in the car.

Suspect statements show that the money came from drug transactions. Colove and Esrich were charged with child abuse, possession of more than 12 ounces of marijuana and speeding. The Drug Enforcement Administration is assisting with the investigation.

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Car pulled over for speeding yields large pot bust

NBC9 News Reports
EAGLE COUNTY - Two people are charged with child abuse after they were pulled over for speeding near Eagle, Colorado. The traffic stop did not just get them a speeding ticket for going 97 mph in a 75-mph zone. On Sunday morning, an Eagle County Sheriff's deputy pulled over a rental car on Interstate 70. The driver, later identified as Erin Colove, 25, of Olathe, Kans., and the passenger, later identified as Chase Eschrich, 22, of Alton, Mo., had over a pound of high-grade marijuana in the car. They also discovered $40,000 in the car. According to the suspects, they say they got this money from drug transactions. Colove and Eschrich were also charged with child abuse because there was a child in the car at the time when they were pulled over.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

One Town, One Road, Two days, Nearly 200 Traffic Tickets!

They told you it was coming!  Many newspapers wrote articles like the link below from the Lawrence Journal World,  warning people that cops were out looking.  Over the thanksgiving holiday, the police were out in force looking for speeders.  To say they found some would be an understatement.  Hundreds and hundred of tickets were given out this last week with the increase in police looking for speeders.

Increased Patrol link:

By: Rick Plumlee of the Wichita Eagle 

Nearly 130 caught speeding during crackdown on Rock Road
Nearly 200 traffic violations, including 128 for speeding, were cited during a law enforcement crackdown over two days last week along Rock Road throughout Sedgwick County, the Wichita Police Department said today.  From 7 a.m. last Wednesday through midnight Thanksgiving, officers and deputies issued 177 citations, which included 196 violations. Twenty-three were for not wearing a seat belt, 17 for making an improper turn and nine for running a red light.  In addition, from 6 p.m. Wednesday through 6 p.m. Sunday, 26 individuals were arrested for driving under the influence.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kidnapper sues hostages, says they had a deal to hide him from the police.

Probably one of the most rediculous cases to come across the web in awhile.  I would assume that motion to dismiss would be granted pretty quickly.

In one of the more audacious and head-spinning lawsuits to hit the courts, a fugitive facing a murder charge who took a couple hostage is now suing his victims for not hiding him from police.

Jesse Dimmick is seeking $235,000 from Jared and Lindsay Rowley in a breach of contract suit involving his 2009 invasion of their home in Kansas, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. Dimmick claims the couple, newlyweds at the time, agreed to hide him for an unspecified amount of money."Later, the Rowleys reneged on said oral contract, resulting in my being shot in the back by authorities," Dimmick wrote in a notarised legal document filed last month, the paper said.  "As a result of the plaintiffs breech (sic) of contract, I, the defendant suffered a gunshot to my back, which almost killed me," he wrote. "The hospital bills alone are in excess of $160,000, which I have no way to pay."

The Rowleys are awaiting a ruling on their motion to have the suit dismissed, saying they never accepted Dimmick's offer of money and even if they had, their consent would have been given under duress. According to the paper, Dimmick, who was being pursued by police, entered the Rowleys' home and confronted them at knifepoint.  A neighbour said the couple gained his trust by eating snacks and drinking soft drinks with him while watching the movie Patch Adams, then fled when he fell asleep.  Dimmick was convicted of four felonies, including two counts of kidnapping, and is currently being held in Colorado on a murder charge, the paper said.

The Rowleys have filed a suit against Dimmick seeking civil damages in excess of $75,000.

Article of

Kidnapper Sues hostages, says they had a deal

(AP)  TOPEKA, Kan. - Can there be no trust between a kidnapper and his hostages?

A man who held a Kansas couple hostage in their home while fleeing from authorities is suing them, claiming they broke an oral contract made when he promised them money in exchange for hiding him from police. The couple has asked a judge to dismiss the suit.

Jesse Dimmick of suburban Denver is serving an 11-year sentence after bursting into Jared and Lindsay Rowley's Topeka-area home in September 2009. He was wanted for questioning in the beating death of a Colorado man and a chase had begun in in Geary County.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Dimmick filed a breach of contract suit in Shawnee County District Court, in response to a suit the Rowleys filed in September seeking $75,000 from him for intruding in their home and causing emotional stress. Dimmick contends he told the couple he was being chased by someone, most likely the police, who wanted to kill him.  "I, the defendant, asked the Rowleys to hide me because I feared for my life. I offered the Rowleys an unspecified amount of money which they agreed upon, therefore forging a legally binding oral contract," Dimmick said in his hand-written court documents. He wants $235,000, in part to pay for the hospital bills that resulted from him being shot by police when they arrested him.

Neighbors have said the couple fed Dimmick snacks and watched movies with him until he fell asleep and they were able to escape their home unharmed.  Dimmick was convicted in May 2010 of four felonies, including two counts of kidnapping. He was sentenced to 10 years and 11 months on those charges. He was later sent to a jail in Brighton, Colo., where he is being held on eight charges, including murder, in connection of with the killing of Michael Curtis in September 2009. A preliminary hearing originally scheduled for Dec. 6 has been rescheduled for April 12. No plea has been entered in the case.

Robert E. Keeshan, an attorney for the Rowleys, filed a motion denying there was a contract, but said if there was it would not have been binding anyway.  "In order for parties to form a binding contract, there must be a meeting of the minds on all essential terms, including and most specifically, an agreement on the price," he wrote.  Keeshan said the contract also would have been invalid because the couple agreed to let Dimmick in the home only because they knew he had a knife and suspected he might have a gun.

Article found at

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kansas City is the hub for drug traffickers: New study gives more reasons to pull over cars on I35

As if the police needed another reason to be suspicious of drivers traveling on interstate 35, a recent article in the Kansas City Star has placed KC smack dab in the middle of the countries drug distribution network.  Driver's beware, especially with all the construction on I 35, the police will be out watching, waiting on you to make a mistake.  Big drug arrests are often made on normal traffic stops.  Ergo, the more traffic stops the more drug arrests.  Its a numbers game, so watch your speed and stay alert.


Kansas City seen as a hub for drug traffickers on Interstate 35

Author:  Mark Morris of the KC Star

I-35 is a favorite of smugglers for the same reason other travelers use it — it’s convenient.

A federal study has put Kansas City on the map in a way that it never wanted.  Maps from the study show Kansas City as a prime destination for drug traffickers who bring cocaine, heroin, marijuana and, to a lesser extent, methamphetamine from Mexico. And Interstate 35 is their highway of choice.  Kansas City is a hub,” said Mike Oyler, an FBI agent who investigates drug trafficking in Missouri and Kansas. “It’s like a trucking business. You have two of the biggest interstates in the country converging here.”

The maps are the clearest official statement yet of what officials have written for about a decade: Kansas City is both a significant drug market and a major distribution point for drugs headed north and east from the U.S. Southwest.  The maps are contained in the National Drug Intelligence Center’s 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment, its annual unclassified study of emerging trends in drug trafficking, the use of illegal drugs and the organizations that perpetuate the narcotics business.  In years past, the center, which compiles the threat assessment from seizure data and interviews with federal, state and local law enforcement, has confined its mapping to broad corridors.  In last year’s report, Kansas City sat, undistinguished, in the middle of a transportation map bounded by Duluth, Minn., to the north, Chicago and New Orleans to the east, Laredo, Texas, to the south and a meandering line from the Big Bend area of Texas back to Duluth in the West.

The new maps, released this fall, put Kansas City in much sharper relief: It sits at the end of some very fat arrows headed north, 970 miles from Laredo. Smaller arrows sweep drugs brought in from Arizona and New Mexico into that march up I-35.

According to the study, the size of the arrows suggests the volume of drugs that traffickers moved along the routes between 2008 and 2010. The report, based on closely held data on total drug seizures throughout the U.S., does not put a quantitative number on that volume, but the arrow pointing to Kansas City is as impressive as any on the map.  David Barton, director of the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, a federal effort coordinating law enforcement efforts in a six-state region, said the new maps reflect a reality for transporters of legal and illegal commodities.  “It’s geography,” Barton said. “We’re right in the middle of the country, and everything goes through here.”

Barton said the maps reflect newer and more robust data about drug transportation gathered over the past three years. Better data allows law enforcement at all levels to better discern trafficking patterns and routes, and devise strategies to combat it when those patterns and routes shift, as they can on a daily basis.
The fruits of that effort is a quickening tempo of large, multi-defendant narcotics trafficking prosecutions filed in federal court, Barton said.  Indeed, according to the U.S. attorney’s office, prosecutors in Kansas City have indicted more than 100 people in several large drug conspiracy cases since January. More large cases are in the pipeline, Barton added.  And though a drug trafficker’s life is full of challenges, Oyler said, they view getting the drugs into America’s heartland without incident as an accomplishment.  “In the drug dealers’ eyes, getting the drugs into mid-America is a success for them,” Oyler said. “They breathe a sigh of relief.”

Police, federal agents and highway patrol troopers have for decades had to adjust to the ever-changing ways that traffickers hide illegal drugs in cars and trucks as they head north from the Mexican border.  For a small load, just burying it inside a much larger commercial shipment can make drugs all but undetectable. FBI agent Tim Swanson noted that a kilo — or 2.2 pounds — of cocaine will fit in a shoebox.  “It’s easy to conceal,” Swanson said. “A kilo is not that big.”Other than the northern and southern U.S. borders, the drug threat assessment does not describe drug seizures by region of the country, so it’s difficult to say how seizures in the Kansas City area compare with those elsewhere.

However, of all the narcotics seized in the United States in 2010, well more than half was taken within 150 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. Overall, seizures of cocaine declined more than 30 percent between 2006 and 2010, while seizures of methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana remained steady or generally increased.
Officers always are looking for new places for secret compartments, and at times even new vehicles. In the past few months, agents on the U.S.-Mexican border have seized almost a ton of marijuana hidden in steamroller drums, a hiding spot once favored by Central American gun runners.  But traffickers are doing more to move drugs along the route than hiding them in passenger cars or concealing dope in commercial loads of Mexican bathroom fixtures.  “FedEx comes up I-35, too,” Oyler said.

In August, a Kansas City federal judge sentenced Rasheed Shakur, 43, to life in prison for his role in a multimillion-dollar dope smuggling ring that nimbly moved drugs of all types from the Southwest to Kansas City using a variety of transportation methods.  For four years, Shakur, who described himself as “the Michael Corleone of Kansas City,” paid a private pilot to fly hundreds of pounds of marijuana and up to 15 pounds of cocaine each week from Texas into Johnson County Executive Airport, said FBI agent Matthew Kenyon.  When that pipeline dried up, Shakur found new suppliers in Arizona and began simply mailing drugs to the addresses of friends and co-conspirators in Kansas City. When some of the packages never arrived, Shakur assumed that dishonest postal employees were stealing his drugs. In fact, federal agents were seizing them before delivery.

“There was a real sense of arrogance with him,” Kenyon said. “He never thought we would get on to it.”
With the mail becoming less dependable, Shakur decided to explore old-school drug running. He began negotiating the purchase of an 18-wheel tractor-trailer that he planned to lease back to an associate, who would drive the dope to Kansas City.  Shakur’s reason for the change suggests why Kansas City’s drug road could remain active for years to come.  “He felt it was safer,” Kenyon said.

To reach Mark Morris, call 816-234-4310 or send email to

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Kansas' Breathalyzer is under fire. Read the recent article in The Pitch

Kansas' breathalyzer of choice faces scrutiny

Questions remain on the Intoxilyzer 8000.

Posted by Ben Palosaari on Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Suspected drunken drivers in Kansas might want to cross their fingers or rub a lucky rabbit’s foot before taking a breath test to determine their blood-alcohol level. That’s because Kansas law-enforcement agencies use the Intoxilyzer 8000, a blood-alcohol testing device that’s gaining a reputation for being more of a slot machine than an accurate test of someone’s level of intoxication.

The Intoxilyzer 8000 has been the source of headaches for officials and courts in several states, and it might be just a matter of time before the same issues hit Kansas. Here’s how the machine works: It collects a driver’s breath through a tube attached to the side of a large gray box. The device then shines infrared light, which alcohol absorbs, into the breath. The machine takes a reading of the light using a proprietary source code to calculate the blood-alcohol content, then prints a sort of receipt displaying the information.

In Kansas, the Intoxilyzer 8000 is used in most counties, including Johnson, Wyandotte, Leavenworth and Douglas. However, 21 Kansas counties don’t use the machines. In Sumner County, County Attorney Evan Watson announced in January that he wouldn’t use the Intoxilyzer to prosecute DUI cases. Instead, that county would rely on blood tests. Watson didn’t respond to several interview requests from The Pitch, but he told news outlets in April that he’d seen the device fail, and it didn’t “instill [him] with confidence.”
Kansas City, Kansas lawyer Jay Norton says Watson’s approach is appropriate, given the Intoxilyzer’s history of inconsistent responses and its sensitivity to radio-frequency interference from electrical devices such as smartphones."The concern isn’t for accurate and reliable science," Norton says. "The concern is for winnable cases."

Officials nationwide have grown wary of trusting the Intoxilyzer. Earlier this year, a Florida investigation found thousands of breath tests with the Intoxilyzer 8000, dating back to 2006, that had produced inaccurate calculations. Forty percent of the Sunshine State’s 231 Intoxilyzer 8000 units were found to be faulty. Some of the machines registered as much as 12 liters of breath from suspected drunken drivers, despite human breath capacity topping out at 5 liters. "It’s saying that it’s getting 10, 15, 20 liters of breath from a human being, which is impossible. It’s fiction," Norton says. "There’s something wrong with the software in the machine, the function of the machine."

In October, prosecutors in Manatee County, Florida, announced that they would throw out Intoxilyzer readings for about 100 DUI defendants and instead either use other evidence to prosecute the cases or drop the charges.

In Ohio, a judge wrote a decision in June allowing defendants to challenge breath results. The judge noted a witness’s testimony that "the longer you blow, the higher your score" with the Intoxilyzer. Another Ohio judge has refused to allow evidence gathered by the Intoxilyzer in his courtroom until the state proves that the machines produce accurate results.

The state of Kansas, however, is standing by the Intoxilyzer 8000. The Breath Alcohol Laboratory Program of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment oversees the state’s 251 Intoxilyzer 8000s. Breath Alcohol Supervisor Christine Houston says the devices are accurate, and when they need repair, the KDHE has procedures in place to rotate them out of service. Houston says she has worked with Intoxilyzer technology for 10 years and has no reason to doubt its effectiveness.

The KDHE doesn’t see a county’s refusal to use the machines as a repudiation of the Intoxilyzer. "That’s their prerogative,” Houston says, “and I’m not going to tell them one way or another." Houston says the KDHE never had the chance to convince Watson in Sumner County of the Intoxilyzer’s usefulness. "He also has never allowed me to be able to demonstrate the instrumentation to him or been able to explain to him how the instrument works,” she says. “He has no idea how it even works, much less whether it works accurately and precisionally [sic]."

Blood and urine tests are acceptable forms of testing, but Houston says the number of breath tests far outweigh the number of blood tests. "If there was some idea or philosophy that the instrumentation was false in some way, shape or form, you wouldn’t have the discrepancy that we have in the number of breath tests versus blood in the state," she says.

CMI Inc., the company that manufactures the Intoxilyzer, did not return requests for comment. And the company doesn’t appear to be helping its cause. Courts in multiple states have told CMI to release the Intoxilyzer source code so that defense attorneys can learn how the device calculates blood-alcohol content. The company has refused, saying it’s a trade secret. CMI is also in a bizarre standoff with Florida, where the company has been found in contempt for not releasing the code.

In Kansas, no legal challenges to the Intoxilyzer 8000 have been mounted. But Norton says the troubled device’s future doesn’t look good. "I think that CMI is just doing the best that they can to outrun all of these boulders that are rolling at them and this machine right now," he says. "I think that public opinion on this machine may eventually shift because there’s been so many problems, and they’re being pointed out more and more."

Read the original article here

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Overland Park man kidnapps friend and steals $62,200 from bank in Halloween Mask gets probation

Kind of a bizarre story here...

Overland Park man gets probation for staged kidnapping, bank robbery
The Kansas City Star

A federal judge in Kansas today sentenced the last of four buddies who staged an Overland Park kidnapping and bank robbery to time served and probation — the end to a heist hatched by youths who used to work at a movie theater.

U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia sentenced David Batson, 21, of Overland Park, to three years of probation and ordered him to continue to participate in mental health counseling for anxiety and other problems.

He was the wheel man in the Nov. 10, 2010 theft and previously pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting embezzlement by a bank employee. The three others also have pleaded guilty and were sentenced to probation and time served, which for all of them amounted to a few days in jail.

Batson told police that he agreed to do the driving and got a coded text message from his friend Michael Grace, the insider bank employee, setting the caper into action.

When it was over, Grace told police that he had been abducted at knifepoint by masked men and taken to the U.S. Bank at 10100 W. 119th St., where they beat him and forced him to use his bank key to open the ATM to steal cash. His colleagues at the bank discovered him with a bloody nose and bound by duct tape.

Brenden Connors admitted that he played the heavy for bank surveillance cameras, wearing a Halloween mask and leaving his friend with a bloody nose.

Batson delivered more than $62,200 in stolen money to Jacob McWhirt, who had it a short time before police cracked the case.

Among all four of them, they must also pay a total of $3,822 in restitution to Overland Park police and to the bank.

Batson told the judge he made a bad choice without considering how serious it was or the consequences.

“I kind of just acted on a whim,” he said. “It changed my life completely.”

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