3 from Arkansas arrested in drug investigation

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By Shane Farley
August 18, 2010 - 11:34:53 am

Three Arkansas residents have been arrested in connection with a drug investigation at the corner of 19th and Main in Winfield Tuesday afternoon, according to Winfield police Det. Frank Owens.

The incident began just after noon when the Cowley County Drug Task force received a tip in regard to people attempting to make a suspicious purchase at a local store. A local resident observed the suspects getting into a vehicle.

Officers initiated a traffic stop and the suspects pulled their black pickup into the WingStreet restaurant.

Restaurant officials told NewsCow late Tuesday that they wished to stress that the investigation had no connection to the restaurant or its employees.

An interview of the suspects following the stop yielded changing stories about what the group was doing. Three adults were detained and an infant child was taken into police protective custody.

A subsequent search of the truck - using the department's K-9 unit - uncovered components and chemicals commonly used for the production of meth.

The search also uncovered a substance believed to be meth, various drug paraphernalia and substance thought to be K2, a stimulant closely related to pot.

The following people were arrested and are expected to face the following charges:

Miranda N. Hemmert,22, Searcy, Ark., was arrested and booked on charges of conspiracy to manufacture meth, possession of a precursor used to manufacture meth, possession of drug manufacture paraphernalia, possession of meth, possession of drug use paraphernalia, and child endangerment.

Kenneth Allen Lane, 42, Bald Knob, Ark., was arrested and booked on charges of conspiracy to manufacture meth, possession of a precursor used to manufacture meth, possession of drug manufacture paraphernalia, possession of meth, possession of drug use paraphernalia, and child endangerment.

David Lee Hodge , 33, Judsonia, Ark., was arrested and booked on charges of conspiracy to manufacture meth, possession of a precursor used to manufacture meth, possession of drug manufacture paraphernalia, possession of meth, possession of drug use paraphernalia, and child endangerment. Mr. Hodge also had additional charges of transporting an open container and possession of stimulant or hallucinogenic.

Due to the potentially hazardous nature of meth labs the drive-thru at Pizza Hut Wing Street had to be closed for a few hours in order for the scene to be safely processed, police said.

A Haz-Mat service was called in to dispose of the lab chemicals and components.

The investigation was assisted by officers from the Arkansas City Police Department, The Cowley County Sheriff's Department and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Owens said the department would like to thank the individual that placed the call alerting authorities to this situation.

The Winfield Police Department would also like to remind the public that they are encouraged to report any illegal drug activity or suspicious activity by calling the Winfield Police Department at (620)221-5555.

If you wish to remain anonymous you can still report information by calling Cowley County Crime Stoppers at (620)221-7777 or (620) 442-7777.

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TAGS: drugsmethWinfieldLaneHodgeHemmert
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