At a population of 125,000 people, Olathe is the fourth most populated city in the state of Kansas and is the county seat of Johnson County. It was originally founded by Dr. John T. Barton in 1857 when he rode to the center of the city and staked two quarter sections of land as the official town site.
Dr. Barton had this to say about the area:
"...the prairie was covered with verbena and other wild flowers. I kept thinking the land was beautiful and that I should name the town Beautiful."
He then asked a Shawnee interpreter what the word for beautiful was in their native language to which they responded "Olathe". The city was named that and incorporated as an official city the same year he staked his claim. As the years went on a military post was set up in the city and the Kansas militia occupied the post there through most of the Civil War and troops from the Army were there for most of the time as well. After the Civil War the military post remained in Olathe until it was deactivated in August of 1865.
Olathe also served as a stop on the Oregon Trail (a 2,200 mile wagon route and emigrant trail connecting the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon), the California Trail (a 2,000 mile emigrant trail connecting the Missouri River to the state of California) and the Santa Fe Trail (a 900 mile transportation route connecting Franklin, Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico) and catering to the travelers was the main source of income for local stores and businesses. The Mahaffie House was a resupply spot for wagons passing through and is still around today as a historical site and was stagecoach rides and farm animals for families to enjoy with their children.
Olathe Residents Plead Guilty to Sale of $16 Million Worth of Synthetic Drugs:
Two Olathe residents pleaded guilty to the production of and sale of $16 million dollars worth of synthetic drugs over a two year span according to federal prosecutors in Kansas City, KS.
Tracy Picanso, 58, and Roy Ehrett, 56, each pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, producing and selling misbranded drugs, producing and selling counterfeit drugs and conspiracy to launder money. The substances they produced and sold were synthetic drugs with chemical compounds that produced effects similar to those of marijuana and stimulants.
The products were sold under various names such as:
They had operations in several states including Kansas, Missouri, California, Texas, Georgia and Colorado. A recommended sentence of 7 to 15 years for each of them was given. The sentencing will happen on April 13th.
McRoberts Pleads Guilty in Designer Drug Case:
Cindy McRoberts, 49, pleaded guilty in US District Court in Kansas to one count of conspiracy to distributed controlled substances and analogues of controlled substances. McRoberts was the office manager of the Olathe companies that produced and sold synthetic drugs run by Tracy Picanso and Roy Ehrett.
McRoberts faces a penalty of up to 20 years in jail and a $1 million fine.
The Rise of Synthetics:
Synthetic drugs, unlike drugs like marijuana or heroin, are entirely produced in a lab and not derived from plants. They currently fall into two categories, synthetic stimulants and synthetic marijuana.
Synthetic stimulants, also called "Bath Salts", are made of drugs that give the same effects as cocaine, LSD, MDMA or methamphetamine. They were originally marketed as Bath Salts in an attempt to avoid detection by authorities and because of their white or brown crystalline powder form that resembles Epsom salts, which are often used by adding them to bath water for a relaxing effect on the muscles. Synthetic stimulants are also sometimes marketed as "plant food", "jewelry cleaner" and "phone screen cleaner" in attempts to get them sold in stores and avoid interference by drug enforcement officers.
Synthetic marijuana, commonly called "K2", "Spice" or "Herbal Incense" but lately going by any number of names, is made by adding a synthetic cannabinoids to a plant material. The synthetic cannabinoids are not themselves made from the marijuana plant but are a synthetic form of THC. They are sold in various forms, such as incense, in stores or on the streets. The users burn the drug and inhale the resulting smoke for an extremely potent and quick acting high that is similar to a marijuana high but is reportedly as much as dozens of times as strong.
Both synthetic stimulants and synthetic marijuana are very dangerous to the users. The dangers are minimally equal with the drugs they simulate, however are often much more dangerous with a much higher chance of overdose. The people who sell them work to change their makeup as often as the laws change to try and sell them as "legal" drugs.
Olathe Drug Rehab Options:
Olathe has 7 drug rehab centers available for those that are looking for help from drug and alcohol addiction or are seeking help for a loved one.
When contacting them to find the center that is right for you make sure to check into what payment options they have available. Not all centers accept all forms of payment and some accept self pay only, not accepting any insurance providers. The different payments options are:
- Self Pay: This means that you must cover the costs yourself, not through an insurance company.
- Sliding Scale Fees: This is offered with some self pay options and can lower the costs based off of your income and other factors.
- Private Insurance: This is for those that have insurance through a private insurance corporation such as Coventry One or Humana.
- Medicare, Medicaid, State Funded Insurance: Local or federally based insurance is accepted at these locations. Some centers however only accept one of these and are not required to accept all of them.
- Military Insurance: Insurance for people in the military or their families. This is provided by the military and is separate from government funded insurance.