When Deputy Sierra Thorne saw Michael “Spike” Croslin driving a car last November, she knew he didn’t have a driver’s license. That encounter led to his arrest on a drug possession charge. Between then and late March of this year, he would be arrested two more times on traffic stops that resulted in drug charges.
Croslin, 47, formerly from Oklahoma, appeared in Barton County District Court on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing on all three cases. Judge Richard E. Burgess Jr. found probable cause that the alleged crimes had been committed by Croslin, and scheduled his arraignment for 9 a.m. on Aug. 24.
Thorne testified in all three cases, starting with the one on Nov. 25, 2017. It was 1:42 a.m. when she saw him get into a Toyota Tundra at a Casey’s store and drive off. When she activated her lights, he quickly pulled into a parking lot, jumped out of the vehicle and knocked on a door, but he came to her when she ordered him to do so. She cuffed his hands behind his back and spoke to a passenger in the Tundra. Then she saw Croslin pull something from his pocket and begin stomping. She ordered him to stop and he kicked something under her patrol vehicle. It was a small clear vial that contained a white substance, which was later sent to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation lab for testing, she said.
He was charged with possession a methamphetamine, possession of cocaine, and interference with a law enforcement officer by tampering with evidence.
Thorne was also on patrol at 3:16 a.m. on Jan. 3. She was looking for Croslin and a white Chevrolet S-10 Blazer because a detective told her he might be driving it and carrying cash and/or drugs.
This started as a traffic stop because Thorne said the license tag was covered by a plastic film and she couldn’t read it. She called for a K-9 unit and Officer Mason Paden from Stafford County responded. The dog indicated the presence of illegal drugs.
A woman in the Blazer gave Thorne a false name but was later identified as Juliah Rodriguez.
Items found in the vehicle included syringes, pipes and rolling papers, digital scales, suspected marijuana and Alprazolman tablets, commonly called Xanax. He was booked on charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and no driver’s license.
On March 26, at 7:34 p.m., Thorne saw Croslin driving a blue Chevy pickup at 24th and Main in Great Bend.
“I knew the driver to be Mr. Croslin,” she said. He stopped when she activated her lights and siren. She saw him reach under the seat, which caused concern. When people do that, they could be reaching for a weapon or trying to hide something, she testified.
As she stepped out of her patrol vehicle, Croslin got out of the pickup and ran. Thorne pulled her Taser stun gun and chased him. She got closer and tried to grab him; he spun around but complied when she told him to get on the ground.
Again, there was a passenger in the vehicle. Because he had been drinking and didn’t have a driver’s license, Thorne said, she took the vehicle to impound. She checked under the seat and found a case that contained suspected meth, so she put it back and obtained a search warrant. She found more vials, syringes, Xanax tablets and small baggies containing “shrooms,” or hallucinogenic mushrooms, she said. Croslin was booked into the Barton County Detention Center on charges of distribution of methamphetamine, distribution of prescription drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, distribution of hallucinogenic drugs, and various traffic charges. His bond was set at $100,000.
Assistant County Attorney J. Colin Reynolds presented the case for the prosecution Wednesday. Defense attorney Richard Boeckman showed some video from Thorne’s dash camera and asked her questions about the arrests.
During cross examination by Boeckman, Thorne said Croslin did not give consent to his vehicle being searched in one of the stops. Boeckman said he intends to use this evidence in a motion to suppress the introduction of some of the state’s evidence at trial.