Restaurant Owner Charged With Drug Trafficking and more

Posted 9 months ago

By Post Staff

Gerald BeasleyA Wichita restaurant owner has been charged with drug trafficking, firearms violations, bank fraud and money laundering, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Gerald Beasley, 58, Andover, Kan., was charged in June with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction.  A 23-count superseding indictment returned by a grand jury Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Wichita includes the following charges:

  1. Three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction.
  2. Three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
  3. One count of maintaining a drug involved premises at 1122 N. Piatt in Wichita.
  4. One count of maintaining a drug involved premises at Tiara’s Place, a restaurant at 1339 N. Hillside in Wichita.
  5. One count of possession with intent to distribute heroin.
  6. One count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
  7. One count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  8. One count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.
  9. One count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine.
  10. One count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.
  11. One count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
  12. Five counts of bank fraud.
  13. Two counts of money laundering.
  14. One count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The indictment alleges investigators monitored Beasley’s telephone calls and examined his tax records, bank records and real estate purchases to obtain evidence that he derived his income from criminal activities including drug trafficking and counterfeit checks.  Law enforcement officers served search warrants in June and seized more than $229,000 from bank accounts and $346,000 in cash from residences and a business location.  They also seized firearms, ammunition, controlled substances and drug trafficking paraphernalia.

Other allegations in the indictment include the following:

  • Tiara’s Place restaurant, owned by Beasley, reported $104,864 in gross receipts for July 1, 2003, through Dec. 31, 2012. The restaurant’s total gross income reported to the Internal Revenue Service during the same period was $493,707.
  • Law enforcement officers determined Beasley operated a counterfeit check and identity theft operation locally and in other states. He made counterfeit checks, recruited people to cash the checks and then split the cash proceeds with the check passers. He provided cars he owned or rented for their use while passing counterfeit checks.
  • Beasley unlawfully possessed firearms and ammunition despite being prohibited from doing so because of a prior felony conviction.

The government is seeking the forfeiture of all money and property representing the proceeds of the crimes including the following real estate owned by Beasley: 660 N. Estelle, 1322 N. Estelle, 1815 E. 23rd, 907 N. Wabash, 2341 N. Piatt, 618 Hedgewood (Andover), 2001 Colt Court (Andover), 2826 E. 23rd, 1648 N. Estelle, 907 and 907 1/2 N. Cleveland, 655 N. Estelle, 1118 N. Piatt, 1728 McFarland, 2244 N. Kansas, 1339 N. Hillside, 1343 N. Hillside, 3623 E. Funston, 1122 N. Piatt, and 1304 N. Grove.

Upon conviction, the alleged crimes carry the following penalties:

  • Unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking: Not less than five years — consecutive to a sentence on the underlying drug charge — and a fine up to $250,000.
  • Maintaining a drug involved premises: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $500,000.
  • Possession with intent to distribute heroin: Not less than five years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $5 million.
  • Possession with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $1 million.
  • Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin: Not less than 10 years and a fine up to $4 million.
  • Conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud: A maximum penalty of 30 years and a fine up to $1 million.
  • Money laundering: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $500,000.

The following agencies worked on the case: Wichita Police Department, the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service and the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Barnett and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs are prosecuting.