Two suspects allegedly involved in a drug ring with possible ties to the July 31 shooting of a Carbondale police officer pleaded not guilty to charges on Thursday.
At an arraignment hearing in Jackson County Court, Brandon Jones and William M. Cummins both entered a plea of not guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver cannabis. Brandon Jones also pleaded not guilty to one count of cannabis trafficking.
The grand jury charges allege that the two suspects — in conjunction with Christian N. Reichert, Jared J. Jones and Alex B. Karcher — stored more than 5,000 grams of cannabis at a rental home on Power Plant Road in Williamson County with intent to distribute between January 2015 and July 2016.
Prosecutors claim that an unnamed co-conspirator took a portion of the cannabis to and delivered it to a customer in Carbondale for $49,000 in cash on July 27, and that the suspects sold five pounds of the drug to Cummins on multiple occasions in exchange for vehicles.
No one is currently charged with the shooting of Officer Trey Harris, but a statement released by the Carbondale Police Department indicated that Karcher and two other suspects might have been involved in the incident.
Karcher, Xavier L. McCray and Xavier E. Lewis are accused of conspiracy to commit capital murder. Complaints filed in Saline County, Kansas Court allege that the three men agreed to assist in the crime of capital murder between July 27 and Aug. 1, and traveled to Jackson County to commit the crime.
Harris was injured in the line of duty during a high-speed chase on July 31 after responding to reports of gunshots.
A hearing for Cummins and Brandon Jones has been set for Dec. 20.