During a traffic stop in December of 2013, Kansas City police officers made an unusual discovery: a safe in a vehicle driven by Ronald D. Boyd was full of $100 bills totaling $70,000. While Boyd claimed he had the large sum of cash on him because he was a real estate investor, investigators found, upon looking into Boyd’s finances, that it had been six years since Boyd had been employed. He had not reported any income during that time. This traffic stop began a federal investigation into a multistate marijuana ring that involved shipments of pot from California to Kansas City. Boyd, along with six others, have now been charged with federal drug trafficking.
Boyd was arrested at his home on June 8 by Kansas City police. A search warrant affidavit states that officers found a handgun and what appeared to be cocaine, in addition to marijuana. A grand jury indictment stated that Boyd and his associates were responsible for trafficking some 200 pounds of marijuana since 2012.
Drug busts on I-70
Because marijuana is now decriminalized in many western states, it is increasingly coming to Kansas via I-70, something evidenced by this case and others. Colorado’s legalization of marijuana use has been particularly problematic for surrounding states. Based on evidence compiled by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), Colorado pot traveled to 40 other states in 2013, with Kansas as a popular destination.
Garden City police Capt. Randy Ralston says his department has made a higher number of drug arrests since marijuana dispensaries became common in Colorado. Sherman County, Kansas, which borders Colorado, has also seen a sharp increase in marijuana arrests. Police departments say they are experiencing significant financial and staffing burdens as a result. As Kansas and other states attempt to stop the flow of marijuana via I-70 year after year, the impact of marijuana decriminalization and legalization on states where pot is still illegal seems to be clear.