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Couple charged with lots of methTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Lucas A. Swarthout
Courtesy Nebraska Farm Bureau
Kayla M. Willis

A man and a woman were jailed Thursday night, charged with possession of methamphetamine, after one of them allegedly threatened a Lake Maloney resident with a knife.

The case started at 8:43 p.m., when Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies received a report of the knife threat near the outlet campground at Lake Maloney.

The caller described the vehicle that the suspect was driving. A Nebraska State Trooper found it and stopped it.

Deputies arrived and talked to several individuals, including two suspects: 23-year-old Lucas A. Swarthout of North Platte and 24-year-old Kayla M. Wills of Cozad.

During the investigation, a Lake Maloney man told deputies that Swarthout and Wills were acting suspiciously near his home, so he followed them when they drove away, to try to get the license plate number from their car.

Swarthout saw he was being followed. He stopped the car and confronted the man, brandishing a large knife, threatening the man, putting him in fear of his life, according to a sheriff's statement.

Swarthout was arrested and charged with making terroristic threats. Then, investigators inventoried his vehicle to prepare it to be towed away. Deputies located numerous syringes and baggies that are consistent with the distribution and use of methamphetamine, the sheriff's statement said.

Deputies also searched Wills' property, where a large quantity of suspected methamphetamine -- about 10 grams -- was found. The suspected meth tested positive on a field test.

Wills and Swarthout were both jailed and charged with possession of meth with intent to distribute. Swarthout is also charged with use of a weapon (knife) to commit a felony. If convicted on all three charges, the maximum sentence would be 120 years in prison.

The knife was not immediately found, but someone found it Friday near the scene of the arrest in a bag next to a tree and turned it into the sheriff’s office.

In court Friday, Swarthout's bond was set at $100,000. He requested a public defender.

Willis' bond was set at $50,000. Michael Nozicka was appointed to be her public defender.

The investigation continues, the sheriff's statement said.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 8/9/2013
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