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For week ended January 23, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

Misread License Plate Puts LDS Man in Jail
Wichita KS Eagle (Knight Ridder) 23Jan00 D2
Knight Ridder News Service
Father of driver doesn't know why his son was with a drug smuggler driving across Kansas.

COLBY, KANSAS -- A police officer in Colby, Kansas misread the license plate on a car driven by LDS church member Justin E. DeBusk of Katy, Texas. When the misread plate didn't match the car, Officer Scott Sitton pulled the rental car over, and in the process discovered that DeBusk's passenger was a wanted drug dealer, who promptly shot and killed himself.

When Sitton's misread license plate didn't match the car, he took a second look. The nervous behavior of the driver and passenger led him to stop the Ford Tarus at about 9 p.m. on January 14th. After verifying DeBusk's license and discovering that he wasn't wanted, Sitton noticed that DeBusk was shaking, and decided to ask more questions. The questions led him to ask DeBusk to open the car's trunk, and discover a locked duffel bag that DeBusk said belonged to his passenger.

The passenger, Robert Henry Golding, 43, then tried to pull a gun on the officer. Sitton shoved Golding against the car, and Golding shot himself in the head. The officer raced back to his car and radioed for help. Golding was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Now DeBusk has been booked into Thomas County jail, charged with aiding a felon. The duffel bag was later found to contain $3.7 million in cash, the largest cash seizure in Kansas history. It is believed to be related to a seizure of nearly $6 million in Fort Collins, Colorado earlier that day.

His father, Fred De Busk of Huntington Beach, California speculates that Justin was recruited to travel with Golding because of his build; 6 feet 6 inches and 240 pounds. He says his son worked selling spray-on pickup bed liners, but often made money dealing with various goods on the side, "He was always dabbling with something -- buy something for 10 and sell it for 20. But I never suspected anything like this."

Fred De Busk says his son was raised to be a good member of the LDS Church, "We realize that we can train our children, but we can't dictate their lives," he said.


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