Federal authorities are attempting to confiscate cash, diamonds, jewelry, real estate, vehicles and personal property worth more than $500,000 in the largest assets seizure ever filed in connection with a Kansas drug case that may involve operations in Utah and other states.
According to federal court documents, Robert L. Rich, a former Fort Worth, Texas, electrician who moved to Cherryvale, Kansas, in 1986, was among 12 people named in a 16-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in New Orleans March 3. The indictment was unsealed in Wichita Wednesday in connection with the serving of search warrants and the filing of a civil suit to seize Rich's assets.Rich, who lived in an unassuming white farmhouse near Cherryvale and appeared to be a farmer and rancher, is accused of being the free-spending leader of a multistate illegal drug manufacturing and distribution operation.
Court documents say U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration intelligence reports also indicate Rich may have had manufacturing facilities in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, California and Missouri.
Rich is charged in all 16 counts of the indictment. He faces counts alleging he operated a continuing criminal enterprise, conspired to deal in and dealt in amphetamines and used a telephone to further the illegal acts. The possible maximum penalty for the continuing criminal enterprise count is life in prison and a $5 million fine. The final 12 counts in the indictment are the telephone use charges.
Four other people, reportedly from several states were charged with conspiracy to deal drugs and dealing drugs. Five others were charged only with conspiracy.