Two suspects in other recent crimes arrested for drugs following chase

Staff Reports /

PITTSBURG, Kan. — After a pursuit early Friday morning, police arrested two local men — both suspected of involvement in separate crimes earlier in the week — for possession of a significant amount of methamphetamine.

At approximately 1:15 a.m. Friday, a Pittsburg police officer in the area of 6th and North Tucker streets spotted a red 1997 Jeep Wrangler, which was thought to have been involved in the Thursday, June 17 theft of a Caterpillar skid steer from the 300 block of Locust Street.

After observing the Wrangler making a moving violation while turning from Tucker onto East 5th Street, the officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop, according to a police press release, but the vehicle allegedly began to flee east to Rouse Street, where it went southbound. The officer observed one of the vehicle occupants apparently throwing a plastic bag from the passenger window of the vehicle shortly after the pursuit began, according to the release.

Another officer joined the chase and police continued to pursue the Wrangler southbound on Rouse to Centennial, where the vehicle then began heading west. Crawford County sheriff’s deputies also joined the pursuit, and attempted to deploy a tire-deflation device on Centennial in front of Meadowbrook Mall. The Wrangler avoided the device by driving through the Ron's Supermarket and mall parking lots, however, emerging on Langdon Lane, where it began traveling southbound.

Law enforcement officers continued pursuing the vehicle to Pichler’s Chicken Annie’s, where the Wrangler turned onto Highway 69 and began traveling northbound. As the vehicle approached Centennial, police attempted to deploy another tire-deflation device, but the Wrangler again avoided it and continued heading north.

A tire-deflation device was successfully deployed at the intersection of 4th Street and Highway 69, however, and the Wrangler eventually slowed down and came to a stop just south of the intersection at 20th Street. A felony traffic stop was conducted and the two vehicle occupants were taken into custody without further incident.

The Wrangler was towed from the scene, and what is believed to be methamphetamine was later found in the vehicle, according to the Pittsburg Police Department. A bag containing suspected methamphetamine was also allegedly recovered from a driveway on East 5th Street in the area where the officer who first attempted to stop the Wrangler saw a vehicle occupant throw something out the window.

The total amount of suspected methamphetamine recovered was approximately 65 grams and is suspected of being intended for distribution, according to police.

The two male suspects, a 24-year-old and a 30-year-old, who are also both Pittsburg residents, were both arrested for felony possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and transported to the Crawford County Jail.

The 24-year-old suspect, who was the driver of the Wrangler, was also arrested for felony fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement, felony avoidance of a tire-deflation device, felony theft of stolen property and misdemeanor possession of stolen property. His bond amount was set at $28,000 and he was released later Friday, according to the Crawford County inmate roster.

While at the jail, additional suspected methamphetamine was found on the second suspect, who was the passenger in the Wrangler and who had previously been arrested earlier last week for his alleged involvement in a June 14 shooting incident in Pittsburg and subsequent pursuit that ended in Missouri. Another suspect involved in the June 14 incident escaped and their identity remained unknown prior to Friday’s pursuit.

In addition to possession of methamphetamine, the 30-year-old suspect was arrested Friday for felony interference with law enforcement, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, and parole violations. He is being held without bond.

Later Friday, the stolen Caterpillar skid steer was located and recovered at an address on West Madison Street in Pittsburg. The theft of the skid steer, both of last week’s pursuits, the shooting incident, and the narcotics cases remain under investigation, the police press release noted.

Anyone with information related to these incidents, or other crimes, is urged to contact the Pittsburg Police Department at 620-231-1700 or at the tip line, 620-231-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous.