News and Press Releases

More Than 450 Pounds of Marijuana in Kansas
Sends Arizona Man to Federal Prison For 5-plus Years



July 13, 2011

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – An Arizona who was arrested in Johnson County, Kan., with more than 450 pounds of marijuana has been sentenced to70 months in federal prison, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Joseph J. Erkert, 60, Mesa, Ariz., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. In his plea, Erkert admitted that he was arrested Aug. 14, 2010, in a parking lot near Johnson Drive and I-35. A drug dog indicated the presence of narcotics in the vehicle Erkert was driving. Investigators took Erkert’s Ford F-250 to a garage where they discovered approximately 465 pounds of marijuana wrapped in 84 packages and hidden inside the vehicle’s gas tank.

Co-defendant Julio Terrazas-Hernandez, 26, a citizen of Mexico, was sentenced to 57 months.

Grissom commended the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Assistant U.S. Attorney Trent Krug for their work on the case.



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