Bennie Cullison enters pleas in meth manufacturing case.


Bennie Cullison enters pleas in meth manufacturing case/Gough 11/29/2010

A Hutchinson man arrested back in September after the alleged discovery of two meth labs entered no contest pleas Monday afternoon in front of Judge Joe McCarville.

Bennie Cullison had been charged with 31-counts involving the manufacturing of meth, most of the counts involving the seizure of 21-guns including a saw off shot gun with serial markings scratched out being seized. But, as part of a plea agreement, the state dropped all of the gun charges against Cullison, leaving only the drug related offenses.

The case starts when Reno County Sheriff's Deputy Tony Cook was patrolling in the area of 5300 E. 4th, a location where two previous drug raids were made. Cook detected a strong odor of anhydrous ammonia. The Reno County Drug Unit was contacted and a search warrant was obtained and the two operational meth labs were discovered.

Additional search warrants were obtained for stolen property and 7-truck loads of items were seized.

He was charged in two other cases for theft or in the alternative, possession of stolen property. In one case, he is alleged to have been in possession of a 1987 Toyota 4-Runner, allegedly taken from the C & J Auto group.

The other case, he allegedly stole a “Yerf Dog,” ATV stolen from residents in the area, that also occurring on September 11th. He didn't enter pleas in those cases yet, but may do so within the next week or so.

Both sides will recommend that all the counts in each case run concurrent to each other, but the two sides will be able to argue consecutive sentences on each case.

Sentencing is set for January 6th, at 1:30 p-m.

It was back in late April that a Reno County jury found Cullison not guilty of manufacture of methamphetamine and hung on all the rest of the charges associated with the discovery of a meth lab at that same home in a case that goes back to May 27, 2008.

The state has not announced whether they plan to take that case back to a Reno County jury.