Local News

Two Arrested for Drug Possession Following Police Chase

Zachary PackardTwo Salina people were arrested Saturday night for drug possession following a police chase that started in Russell County and ended in Ellsworth County.

According to dispatch logs and the Russell County Sheriff's Office, at 10:48 PM Saturday, a Sheriff's Deputy advised Russell Dispatch he was attempting to conduct a traffic stop in Lucas with a blue Ford Mustang bearing a temporary license plate that was driving around the football field. The vehicle did not stop and a pursuit ensued.

The pursuit led through the city of Lucas before turning east onto Kansas Highway 18. The driver of the Mustang fled east on K-18 at speeds over 100 miles per hour and eventually turned south on Kansas Highway 181 in Lincoln County.

The pursuit went through Sylvan Grove and proceeded south on K-181 to the 209 exit at Interstate 70. Another Russell County Deputy successfully deployed stop sticks at that location, flattening one of the vehicles tires.

The driver of the Mustang turned east on I-70 and continued to flee for another few miles.Darian VanMeter

The driver finally pulled over in the area of the 212 mile marker on I-70. The driver and a passenger were both taken into custody at that location without further incident and transported to the Russell County Jail for booking.

The driver was identified as 23-year-old Zachary A. Packard of Salina. Packard's initial Russell County charges include felony flee and elude, reckless driving, driving while revoked, and possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Packard is also being held on a Kansas Department of Corrections parole violation warrant.

The passenger of the vehicle was identified as 20-year-old Darian R. VanMeter of Salina. Initial charges for VanMeter include possession of meth, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

The Russell County Sheriff's Office thanks the Lincoln and Ellsworth County Sheriff's Offices, the Kansas Highway Patrol, and the Lucas Fire Department for their assistance in bringing this pursuit to an end without injury or property damage.

(Information and photos courtesy Russell County Sheriff's Office.)

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