Three people were arrested around 3 a.m. Friday after fleeing from Barton County Sheriff’s deputies, Sheriff Brian Bellendir said. The vehicular pursuit began near the 200 block of NE 20 Ave. in Great Bend and ended just east of U.S. 281 near NE 80 Road south of Hoisington. At one point during the chase, one of the occupants fired several rounds from the car.
According to the BCSO, the driver of the vehicle, Sarah Smith-Orr, 41, of Hays, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine. It is believed Orr was forced by the other occupants of the car to flee from law enforcement. Orr is being held in lieu of $10,000 bond.
Brandon Finnesy, 28, of Hays was wanted by the United States Marshals Service on charges of escaping from custody. Finnesy was also booked on charges of kidnapping, criminal threat, criminal possession of explosives and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
Finnesy is being held without bond on the federal charges and $100,000 bond on the local charges.
Lee Jacobs, 36, of Great Bend was arrested for kidnapping, criminal threat, criminal discharge of a firearm, criminal possession of explosives, felony attempt to flee and elude and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Jacobs is being held in lieu of $100,000 bond.
All suspects remain in the Barton County Jail.
According to Bellendir, deputies attempted to stop a suspicious vehicle in relation to surveillance operations that had been going on in the area. When the deputy attempted to stop the white 2001 Saturn, the suspects led the deputies on a chase north along U.S. 281.
Eventually the car entered an alfalfa field where deputies continued pursuit. It then crashed into a tree row along a creek.
“Two of the occupants remained near the vehicle, one fled on foot,” Bellendir said. “Deputies took the two suspects into custody and began searching for the third.”
After about an hour, officers requested the assistance of aircraft equipped with infrared cameras from the Kansas Highway Patrol, he said. The aircraft arrived about 45 minutes later. “Shortly after arrival, the aircraft was able to locate a person lying in the field about half mile west of the scene.”
According to Bellendir, officers recovered two firearms, a substantial quantity of methamphetamine, marijuana and suspected heroin at the scene. Deputies also found three homemade explosive devices in the vehicle.
The Sheriff’s office was assisted at the scene by units from the Great Bend Police Department, including its K-9 officer, The Hoisington Police Department, Ellinwood Police Department as well as the Kansas Highway Patrol aircraft.