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Burglary investigation leads to discovery of drugs, explosives
1814 Odell St.
Pictured is the residence at 1814 Odell St. where BCSO officers, along with agents with several other agencies, discovered drugs and explosives in the course of a burglary investigation Tuesday. - photo by BY DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

The Barton County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of multiple other agencies, arrested three individuals at a Great Bend residence after an investigation into separate crimes led to the discovery of drugs and explosives at that residence Tuesday.

According to Barton County Sheriff Brian Belendir, BCSO detectives had been working to obtain information about a string of recent burglaries in the last several weeks. On Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020 they developed enough probable cause to obtain a search warrant for a Great Bend residence. The warrant was executed at 1814 Odell St. Deputies were looking for stolen property at the residence.

According to Bellendir, at about 3:15 p.m. officers gained entry to the residence and located three persons on the property. During the course of the investigation stolen property was located from at least three burglaries. As the investigation continued, deputies discovered methamphetamine and homemade explosives. 

The explosives were such that the Sheriff’s office did not have the proper equipment to dispose of them. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) was notified, and the Wichita Police Department bomb squad responded to the scene. The pipe bombs were secured and transported to Wichita by the bomb squad where they will be disposed of. Law enforcement was on the scene until about 11 p.m. Tuesday night.

Three persons were arrested at the scene. 

Derek Devine, 34, of Great Bend, was booked for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of explosives, felony theft, burglary as well as possession of stolen property. He’s being held in lieu of a $25,000 bond.  Caitlin Robinson, 26, of Great Bend was arrested and charged with possession of stolen property and possession of methamphetamine. Her bond is set at $20,000.  Michael Wheeler, 50, of Great Bend was also arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine his bond is set at $10,000.  

BCSO was assisted at the scene by agents from the ATF, the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s office, Wichita Police Department bomb unit, and the Great Bend Fire Department.