• Last modified 810 days ago (April 28, 2022)


Missing teen found
in drug-dealing arrest

Staff writers

Marion County deputies returned a 17-year-old Wichita girl to her unsuspecting father early Saturday after a 28-year-old man she was with was arrested on suspicion of multiple drug-dealing charges.

“Her father had no idea where she was,” Sheriff Jeff Soyez said.

The man she was with, Ephraim Palacio, 28, was booked into Marion County Jail on suspicion of multiple charges.

Among the charges was aggravated child endangerment because the girl was with him as he allegedly distributed drugs.

Other charges include suspicion of distribution of methamphetamine and marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of another controlled substance.

Lab tests to determine what some drugs are often take several days.

Deputy Joshua Meliza stopped a black 2016 Hyundai with Texas license plates at 1:02 a.m. Saturday on US-77 just north of 140th Rd. The reason for the stop was not reported.

Monitored police transmissions indicate that Meliza, later joined by deputy Kaylan Miles, arrested two people in the Hyundai — the suspect and the underage girl.

Soyez said deputies seized 5 grams of methamphetamine and 61 grams of marijuana from the Hyundai.

That much meth could be used for up to 50 doses of the drug. The marijuana could make up to 180 joints.

Palacio was released from jail 10 hours later after posting a $10,000 surety bond.

The Hyundai was towed.

Palacio’s license lists him as a resident of Pantego, Texas, a suburb in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex, but he also lists a Wichita address, Soyez said.

The Hyundai is registered to a different person with the same last name from a different Texas town.

Palacio does not appear to have a criminal record in Kansas.

Last modified April 28, 2022