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Charges filed in cocaine case PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 May 2017 12:08

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By ROBERT PIERCE

• Leader & Times



The charges for two men arrested last week after landing a plane that had 144 pounds of cocaine on it have been released, and the next court date is now set as well.

Patrick Williams, 51, of Tempe, Arizona, and Ricardo Lopez, 26, of Rio Rico, Arizona, have been charged one count each of the following crimes:

1. Distribution or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance

2. Conspiracy to commit distribution or possession of with the intent to distribute a controlled substance

3. Possession of drug paraphernalia

4. No drug tax stamp

5. Possession of marijuana

Those charges are according to complaints received from the Seward County District Court Clerk’s office.

Williams and Lopez had their first appearance in Seward County District Court Friday following their arrest Wednesday at the Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport.

Seward County Court Clerk Donna Odneal said both cases were set for schedulings at 9:30 a.m. next Monday.

Williams and Lopez were both arrested last Wednesday when the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Seward County Sheriff’s office seized a large quantity of cocaine, as well as a twin-engine aircraft at the airport in Liberal, according to a release from the KBI.

“Wednesday evening, the Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the KBI developed information which led them to believe a suspicious aircraft would be landing at the Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport,” the release said. “The Seward County Sheriff’s office was requested to conduct a ramp check, a review of the documentation and identification of the pilot and aircraft.”

The KBI release said just before 6 p.m. Wednesday, the aircraft landed and was detained by authorities.

“After contact was made with the plane’s occupants, more than 65 kilograms (or 144 pounds) of cocaine were discovered,” the release said. “The cocaine is estimated to have a street value of approximately $2 million.”

The release went on to say that the KBI and the sheriff’s office seized the Beechcraft Queen Air and the cocaine.

“The pilot and passenger of the aircraft were arrested soon after,” it said. “Arrested were a 51-year-old black male and a 26-year-old Hispanic male.”

Both Williams and Lopez are currently being detained in the Seward County Jail on bonds of $2 million each.

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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