Archive for Thursday, May 3, 2001

Local man ordered to stand trial in drug case

May 3, 2001

A judge dismissed two drug-related charges Monday against a local man who will stand trial in connection to an alleged methamphetamine lab found in his residence.

Wade Bates had been charged in Leavenworth County District Court with 12 counts related to two separate searches of his home in the 15900 block of Ripley Street just outside Basehor.

Although the judge's ruling was a minor victory for the defense, Bates still faces 10 counts, including several felonies.

On Feb. 6, the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department along with officers from the Drug Enforcement Agency searched Bates's residence and discovered an alleged methamphetamine lab along with other drug-related paraphernalia.

A small amount of money and firearms were found at the residence, prosecutors said.

Bates's residence was also searched a year before. Investigators allegedly found items used to manufacture methamphetamine and other drug related paraphernalia during the search.

At Monday's preliminary hearing, only evidence to support the charges from the Feb. 6 search of Bates' home were heard.

Charges from the first search of Bates residence were continued because a witness from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation was not available to testify.

Judge Robert Bednar dismissed charges of criminal use of a weapon and having no drug tax stamp against Bates.

The weapons charge was dismissed because the weapon seized was determined to meet legal requirements, Bednar said.

The gun barrel on the weapon in question was shortened, however, a Leavenworth County Sheriff's Officer testified that the gun was not altered to the point of being illegal.

The charge of not having a drug tax stamp was dismissed because there was not enough finished product of methamphetamine to merit the charge.

A third charge, possession with intent to sell, was amended to just possession of methamphetamine.

A Leavenworth County narcotics investigator testified during cross-examination by defense attorney Carl Cornwell that in his experience methamphetamine labs produce a distinct odor. The investigator said that particular odor was not present at the Bates residence.

DEA agent Dana Suchma testified that precursors; solvents, iodine and other chemicals that are used in the production of methamphetamine were found at Bates residence.

Following the hearing, Bednar found their was sufficient evidence for Bates to stand trial on charges of possession of methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of precursors and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bates has entered a plea of not guilty to the charges against him and has been released on bond. He will remain on house arrest until his trial. A trial date has not been set.

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