Money from drug bust goes to local schools
Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Donald G. Stouffer announced Friday, July 15, that $8,122 cash belonging to David H. Lancaster of Sweet Springs, convicted of manufacturing marijuana earlier this year, will be used to benefit local public schools.
Lancaster was sentenced to a 10-year prison term after he pleaded guilty. Over Stouffer's objections, Lafayette County Associate Judge Randall Shackelford released Lancaster after 120 days. Lancaster is currently serving five years probation.
The forfeiture action alleged that Lancaster's cash was used in conjunction with the production of illegal controlled substances. Judge Dennis G. Rolf ordered the forfeiture.
During a search conducted by the Saline County Sheriff's Department, following an undercover drug operation, the cash was found in an air vent at the defendant's residence. Information for the search warrant was provided by a confidential informant working with Former Saline County Deputy Chris Chamberlin.
The search yielded a large amount of cash, guns and ammunition, along with "the largest, most sophisticated marijuana growing operation ever discovered in Saline County," said Stouffer.
Stouffer commended Chamberlin for his efforts.
"It is always risky when officers serve a search warrant. It is common for druggers to have weapons to protect the operation, and this case was no exception.
"Not only did we put a massive drug business out of operation, but through the hard work of our law enforcement officers, the schools will also see a financial benefit.
"These undercover operations are time-consuming, tedious, and most of all, dangerous to the officers involved. I am grateful we have officers in Saline County willing to assume those risks," Stouffer said.
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