DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Kansas

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Stephen McAllister
, United States Attorney
Contact: Jim Cross

Investigation in Manhattan Results in 50+ People Indicted n Federal Drug Trafficking Charges

TOPEKA, KAN. – More than 50 people have been indicted on federal charges as a result of a three-year investigation to identify traffickers behind a rising tide of heroin, fentanyl and other drugs on the streets of Manhattan, Kan., U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

“Fentanyl and heroin are a deadly combination,” said U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister. “Our goal is to save lives by disrupting the pipelines bringing these and other poisons to the city Manhattan.”
 

OVERDOSE DEATH

Federal indictments filed last week and kept under seal until now allege that 18-year-old Kansas State student Maxwell F. Dandaneu was found dead Sept. 26, 2017, in his off-campus apartment from an overdose caused by fentanyl. An indictment alleges Dandaneu got the drugs from a drug trafficking organization made up of five conspirators who are among 54 defendants whose names appear in one of a 13 grand jury indictments.

Defendants Henry Clark, Sylvester Calvert, Michael Calvert, James Toliver, and Blake Woodard are charged with conspiring to distribute fentanyl and heroin resulting in Dandaneu’s overdose death, as well as other charges. Woodward is charged with directly distributing the fentanyl to Dandaneu that led to the fatal overdose.


DRUGS CHARGED

In addition to heroin and fentanyl, other drugs that traffickers are accused of distributing include ecstasy, marijuana, methamphetamine and hydrocodone.

 

CRIMES CHARGED

The indictments include charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances resulting in bodily injury or death, distributing controlled substances resulting in bodily harm or death, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, unlawful possession of a firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, maintaining a drug involved premise, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm, using Facebook Messenger in furtherance of drug trafficking and removal of property to avoid seizure.


CHICAGO CONNECTION


Law enforcement officers called the investigation Operation Chicago Connection, based on the fact that in 2016 investigators began to hear talk on the streets of this college town about traffickers who some sources called “the Chicago Boys.” In the following months, investigators worked to get a clearer picture of what was going on. What they learned was that some traffickers were making regular trips to Chicago to bring back heroin, fentanyl and other drugs.


TAKEDOWN

Law enforcement officers were out in force Tuesday, serving arrest warrants and search warrants in Manhattan as part of a federal takedown that was one of the largest in state history. Defendants were scheduled to begin making initial appearances in federal court in Topeka today.


DEFENDANTS


The following defendants were charged:

Indictment No. 1 (Nine defendants, conspiracy, overdose death, heroin, fentanyl, and marijuana, $30,000 forfeiture)

Henry Clark, 42  

Sylvester Calvert, Jr., 31, Manhattan, Kan.

Michael Clavert, 28, Manhattan, Kan.

James Toliver, 39, Manhattan, Kan.

Blake Woodward, 23

Kimberly Obrecht, 33

Robert Houston, Sr., 39

Prianna Baggett, 24, Manhattan, Kan.

Jeremy Richmond, 27


Indictment No. 2 (Five defendants, heroin, fentanyl, firearms, $30,000 forfeiture)

          Kevin Henderson, 48, Topeka, Kan.

          Kenneth Shorter, 57, Manhattan, Kan.

          Wayne Ingram, 24

          Quinton Shorter, 65, Manhattan, Kan.

          Shirley Moton, 60, Manhattan, Kan.


Indictment No. 3 (21 defendants, methamphetamine, heroin firearms, $50,000 forfeiture)

          Dontae Patterson, 39

          Michael Walker, Jr.,26

          Joseph Hammond, 48, Manhattan, Kan.

          Dawn Cyphers, 41

          Paul Goodman, III, 48, Junction City, Kan.

          Sasha Soules-Jones, 31

          Deanna Curry, 44

          Henry Jones, 33

          Reginald Carter, 35

          Earnest Johnson, 55, Manhattan, Kan.

          Mercyjazz Goodridge, 25, Manhattan, Kan.

          Derrick Blea, 26

          Jacob Alexander, 25, Manhattan, Kan.

          Scott Alexander, 25

          Austin Rowzer, 26

          Jerome Glaspie, 48

          Taylor Hodges, 21

          John Leroy Cody Deem, 28

          Elizabeth Hoover, 27 Manhattan, Kan.

          Nicholas Hodges, 26, Saint George, Kan.

          Luke Johnson, 56


Indictment No. 4 (Seven defendants, heroin, $30,000 forfeiture)

Christopher Williams, 48, Manhattan, Kan.

Diana Moorman, 58, Manhattan, Kan.

Michael Murphy, 51, Ogden, KN.

Melissa Henderson, 36

Quinton Watts, 30

Allison Krosschell, 24, Manhattan, Kan.

Timothy Lanshaw, 26, Manhattan, Kan.


Indictment five (One defendant, firearms)

Frederick Swinson, 31


Indictment six (One defendant, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, drug involved premise)

          John Thompson, 59, Manhattan, Kan.


Indictment seven (Four defendants, methamphetamine, marijuana, hydrocodone, firearms, felonious use of a communication device)

          Paige Jonas, 26, Manhattan, Kan.

          Trevonn Hall, 20, Ogden, Kan.

          Alyssa Hedmon, 28, Manhattan, Kan.

          Eric Jerome Tucker, 33


Indictment eight (One defendant, firearms, methamphetamine)

          Daniel Mainvlle, 35, Manhattan, Kan.


Indictment nine (One defendant, fentanyl, removal of property to prevent seizure)

          Chanel Toliver, 32, Manhattan, Kan.


Indictment ten (One defendant, methamphetamine)

          Damon Brown, 44, Westmoreland, Kan.


Indictment 11 (One defendant, heroin, felonious use of a communication device)

          Jason Simonds, 46, Manhattan, Kan.


Indictment 12 (One defendant, felonious use of a communication device)

          Jerah Gasser, 26


Indictment 13 (One defendant, firearms)

                   James Atkinson, 50, Manhattan, Kan.

 

Upon conviction, the crimes in the 13 indictments carry the following penalties:

      • Conspiracy to distribute heroin resulting in bodily injury or death (Clark, S. Calvert, M. Calvert, J. Toliver, B. Woodyard): Not less than 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $5 million.
      • Conspiracy to distribute heroin resulting in bodily injury or death (K. Obrecht): Not less than five years and not more than 40 years, and a fine up to $5 million.
      • Distributing heroin resulting in bodily injury or death (B. Woodyard): Not less than 20 years and a fine up to $5 million.
      • Conspiracy to distribute controlled substances: Up to 20 years and a fine up to $1 million.
      • Conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl: Not less than five years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $5 million.
      • Unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking: Not less than five years and a fine up to $250,000.
      • Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine: Not less than 10 years and a fine up to $10 million.
      • Unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon: Up to 10 years and a fine up to $250,000.
      • Maintaining a drug involved premise: Up to 20 years and a fine up to $500,000.
      • Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine: Not less than five years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $5 million.
      • Conspiracy to make a false statement to obtain a firearm: Up to five years and a fine up to $250,000.
      • Using Facebook Messenger in furtherance of drug trafficking: Up to four years and a fine up to $250,000.
      • Removal of property to prevent seizure: Up to five years and a fine up to $250,000.

 

The case was jointly led by the Riley County Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration, with the assistance of the Riley County Attorney’s Office, the Junction City Police Department, the Geary County Sheriff’s Department, the Kansas Highway Patrol, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Department, the Junction City Police Department.

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.

Kansas City Field Division