A Gardner man has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for his involvement with a drug ring that ended with a killing.
Steve Hohn, 34 of Gardner, was one of a 16 people convicted in the case, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced on June 23.
The drug trafficking investigation began in March 2010 when Gardner Police officers and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department began looking into methamphetamines being sold in Gardner.
In August 2011, Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents identified Tracy Rockers, 24 of Greeley, Kan., as one of the traffickers. Working undercover, investigators made the first of several methamphetamine purchases from Rocker in Eudora, Kan. Over several months, law enforcement officers identified more than a dozen traffickers, including Hohn.
Rockers admitted to being present when Gregory Price, Eudora, was murdered for failure to pay drug debts.
Several traffickers confronted Price at his home in Eudora on Dec. 17, 2010. Rockers told the court that Price owed $800.
When he refused to pay, traffickers decided to take him to De Soto.
According to court documents, the traffickers grabbed price and attempted to pull him out of the front door, but he resisted. The traffickers threw him into a door, causing him to collapse and to begin, “making gurgling noises.” Price died while lying on the floor as traffickers installed a camper shell on a truck.
Rockers watched as traffickers put Price’s body inside a refrigerator and dumped it in rural De Soto.
A year later, on April 19, 2012, law enforcement officers discovered the refrigerator with Price’s body inside.
In total 14 people were sentenced as members of the drug ring or being involved in Price’s death. Rockers plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. She was sentenced to 13-and-a-half years in federal prison.
Others sentenced include: Michael Redifer, 37, 30 years; Steven Hohn, 34, Gardner, 30 years; Michael Quick, 33, Eudora, 20 years; Ronnie Morlean, 30, Olathe, 216 months; Kerry Lee Randall, 43, 180 months; Keith Arney, 29, Fulton, Mo., 173 months; Robert Baitey, III, 39, Desoto, 150 months; Daniel Reynoso, 25, 135 months; Gregory Renft, 40, 10 years; Rebecca Zehring, 39, Desoto, 105 months; Jordan Noble, 24, Eudora, five years; Dustin Cook, 39, 52 months; Danny Marlin, 42, four years.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office commended the Gardner Police Department and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office for their work on the case.