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Three arrested after dark web instructions, meth found during traffic stop

From left to right, Jason Bell, Melissa Loescher, and Charles Puff
From left to right, Jason Bell, Melissa Loescher, and Charles Puff(Shawnee Co. Dept. of Corrections)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 12:55 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Three people were put behind bars after a Topeka traffic stop found drugs, counterfeit items and instructions on how to get someone’s personal information off the dark web.

The Shawnee Co. Sheriff’s Office says three people have been arrested after a traffic stop on Tuesday night, May 17, and a resulting search warrant on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, just before 9 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office said a K9 Unit stopped a red 2003 Chevrolet Malibu in the 3600 block of SW Topeka Blvd. for a traffic violation. The driver, Jason R. Bell, 47, of Topeka, had a warrant out for his arrest.

During the investigation of the traffic stop, deputies said illegal drugs and various counterfeit and fraudulent items were found. They said fraudulent items included fake ID cards, bank cards, reams of fake checks, notebooks full of personal information - names, dates of birth, banking information, etc. - instructions on how to reach people’s information on the “invisible and dark web,” lists of high limit credit cards, various birth certificates, W2 forms, 10-99 forms and vehicle titles.

Bell was booked into the Shawnee Co. Dept. of Corrections for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, 18 counts of identity theft, 10 counts of forgery, 27 counts of possession of stolen property, three counts of counterfeiting, and one count of counterfeiting U.S. currency.

On Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Office said the Drug Enforcement Unit as part of the Shawnee Co. Drug Enforcement Task Force executed a subsequent search warrant in the 900 block of NE Monroe St. During the investigation, it said illegal drugs - including pills - and guns were found.

As a result of the search warrant, deputies said Charles Y. Puff, 44, and Melissa R. Loescher, 23, both of Topeka, were also arrested.

Puff was booked into jail for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to manufacture and criminal use of weapons.

Loescher was booked for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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