OSAWATOMIE — Osawatomie Police Department detectives teamed up with fellow law enforcement officers to simultaneously serve four narcotics arrest warrants and execute one narcotics search warrant on the morning of Monday, June 13.

The arrests were made as part of an operation dubbed “Wizard of Oz” that Osawatomie detectives began at the start of 2022 in direct response to dangerous narcotics trafficking taking place within the community, according to a news release from the Osawatomie Police Department.

“The ultimate goal of this operation was to identify and disrupt methamphetamine traffickers and distributors in order to combat the harm caused by illicit narcotics,” Chief David Stuteville said in the release.

During the months-long investigation, detectives applied for and were granted four narcotics arrest warrants and one narcotics search warrant through Miami County District Court, according to the release.

Those warrants were served at about 7:15 a.m. Monday, June 13, by the Osawatomie Police Department, in conjunction with the Miami County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations, according to the release.

Upon the conclusion of the operation, six people were taken into custody, according to the release.

Robert Kenneth James Aicher, 36, of Osawatomie was arrested on three counts of unlawful cultivation or distribution of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), three counts of aggravated endangering of a child, and one count of criminal damage to property.

Krystal L. Nelson, 36, of Osawatomie was arrested on three counts of aggravated endangering of a child.

Jeremy N. Fortmeyer, 42, of Osawatomie was arrested on four counts of unlawful cultivation or distribution of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) within 1,000 feet of school property, four counts of unlawful cultivation or distribution of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) with no drug tax stamp affixed, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Walter H. Spears, 64, of Osawatomie was arrested on two counts of unlawful cultivation or distribution of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and two counts of unlawful cultivation or distribution of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) with no drug tax stamp affixed.

Tina M. Watt, 39, was arrested during the service of the residential search warrant on one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Debra L. Darner-Redburn, 62, was arrested during the service of the residential search warrant on one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

The residential search warrant was served at 533 Brown Avenue in Osawatomie. By the conclusion of the search, numerous items relating to narcotics use, trafficking and distribution were collected, including 11 grams of methamphetamine, according to the release.

“The Osawatomie Police Department would like to thank the Miami County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security for their interagency cooperation and assistance with the investigation, as well as the serving of the arrests and search warrant,” Stuteville said in the release. “Narcotics trafficking and distribution is dangerous and severely detrimental to our community. Narcotics offenses are taken seriously by the Osawatomie Police Department and will not be tolerated.”

Senior Managing Editor Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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