Kansas officers seize two pounds of meth, more than 2,000 pills presumed as fentanyl

MEADE COUNTY – State law officers made a dent in the Kansas illegal drug trade Wednesday with arrests that yielded two pounds of methamphetamine and some 2,500 tablets presumed to contain fentanyl.

In a press release Thursday, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation confirmed the arrest of Jeffrey A. Filley, 47 of Wichita, and Theresa R. West, 32 of Wichita, for distribution of methamphetamine, distribution of fentanyl, possession of drug paraphernalia, distribution or possession of a controlled substance using a communication facility, and conspiracy. West was also booked for driving while suspended and for committing several traffic violations.

Fentanyl-laced tablets/Kansas City Police Department photo

The investigation was developed with the help of the Iola Police Department after it uncovered information in September 2023 regarding meth being trafficked in southeast Kansas by sources in Wichita.

On Wednesday, Jan. 3, KBI agents located the subjects they believed were involved. KHP troopers initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle occupied by the suspects. The traffic stop took place on U.S. Highway 54 in Meade County. The fentanyl pills and methamphetamine were located soon after.

Overdose deaths have skyrocketed in Kansas and across the country since the proliferation of fentanyl, known to be heavily trafficked across the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years due to lax federal border enforcement. Statistics on overdose deaths from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment show a 54 percent increase in overdose fatalities, 477 logged in 2020 compared to 738 in 2022.

PBS photo-HOUSTON SCOTT/CORBIS SYGMA

The suspects were booked into the Meade County Jail. All suspects are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. The investigation is ongoing.

Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.

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