Task force arrests 2, finds marijuana


On Wednesday, Parsons police received an anonymous tip about illegal drug activity in the 300 block of North 27th. Officers followed up and on Thursday the Kansas Combined Anti-Drug Task Force (K-CAT) secured a search warrant for the house.

During the search, a father and son were arrested in connection with the investigation. Johnny L. Baker, 44, 310 N. 27th, and Matthew R. Baker, 19, were arrested on suspicion of unlawful cultivation or distribution of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of distribution paraphernalia and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. The distribution charge is a more serious felony because the home is within 1,000 feet of Parsons Middle School.

Johnny Baker was released from prison on Dec. 21, 2018, and is on parole supervision, according to the Kansas Adult Supervised Population Electronic Repository (KASPER). He was convicted of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and aggravated endangering a child in Crawford County in 2014. The crimes happened in 2012.

Police Commander Mike Powell from K-CAT started his position at the task force a few short weeks ago but is wasting no time in getting the ball moving, Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks said.

Said Powell: “We will not wait for the perfect scenario. We are cops, and we will be proactive in our investigations and our response to tips. We are going to be doing much more of this in Parsons and Labette County. When we no longer have a drug problem in Parsons and Labette County, I will have done my job and can sit back. Until then, my team and I will track down leads and continue to crack down on the death dealers in Labette County. Putting violent sex offenders-turn-drug dealers back in prison is what I was hired to do and will keep doing.”

Spinks said in a prepared statement that he was pleased with K-CAT’s first arrests.

“They received good information, followed up on it and made two very good arrests.”

Police found 30 separate containers of marijuana ready for repackaging and distribution in the house, Spinks said. The initial investigation would lead investigators to believe that the product was purchased in Colorado, where marijuana and its products are legally sold, and smuggled into Kansas for illegal distribution after the identifiers were removed. 

“This father and son operation is done,” Spinks said. “If there are any others out there who are thinking about making up lost time from being in prison, pick up a ball and a glove and play catch, go fishing or find a legal hobby. This is not acceptable and will only end with you in jail.”

This continues to be an ongoing investigation and citizens are encouraged to “see it, hear it, report it.” If anyone has any further information on this incident or any other criminal activity, please contact the Parsons Police Department at (620) 421-7060, the tip line at 421-7057 or email tips@parsonspd.com.

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