‘This is not the county to be dealing dope in’: Barton County cracks down on illegal drugs

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“They had 11 of them,” Trudy Richardson said. “And that’s a lot for Great Bend.”

Lifelong Barton County resident Richardson said she enjoys her walks outside.

But recently, she’s become more cautious.

“If I walk, I don’t walk too far,” she said.

Richardson said the drug bust that happened Monday, March 25, 2019, wasn’t shocking.

“No, it’s not a surprise,” she said. “It’s getting worse as I get older and years go on.”

Barton County Sheriff’s Department arrested 11 people.

Sheriff Brian Bellendir said they executed search warrants at five different locations around Barton County after several five weeks of investigation.

  • 512 E. 4th St. in Ellinwood

  • 1408 11th St. in Great Bend

  • 2015 Holland St. in Great Bend

  • 2501 Cheyenne Dr in Great Bend

  • 36 Kiowa Rd.

Officers discovered methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a stolen firearm.

Ellinwood:

  • Victoria Siefers, 24

  • Eric Torres, 32

  • Jeremy Lamb, 35

Great Bend:

  • Stephen Lee Contrerez II, 31

  • Jennifer L Ogden, 33

  • Paul D. Pryor, 41

  • Debra Holder, 35

  • Jason Sohm, 41

  • Jennifer Hayes, 36

  • Brent Bretz, 40

  • Beckie A. Eisenbarth, 44

“For us in Barton County, 11 people getting arrested in one shot is a pretty substantial number,” Bellendir said.

Since 2013, the county has conducted more major drug operations than in the past 15 years.

He said the department has been more proactive with its new detective division, and the use of social media as a tool.

“It’s amazing what people will put on their Facebook accounts,” he said.

Bellendir said it’s a supply and demand issue that his department is doing everything it can to stop it.

“We’re putting the squeeze on them,” he said. “We’re making them take notice that this is not the county to be dealing dope in.”

Bellendir said he will not make another operation.

However, any further information will be the start of phase two in the investigation.

He expects more arrest to be made.

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