Crime & Courts

Former candidate, talk radio host arrested on drug charges

Jim Price, a talk radio show host and former Republican candidate from Wichita, was charged in March with possession with intent to distribute 129.55 grams of dabs and misdemeanor possession of steroids and marijuana.
Jim Price, a talk radio show host and former Republican candidate from Wichita, was charged in March with possession with intent to distribute 129.55 grams of dabs and misdemeanor possession of steroids and marijuana. Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

A former candidate who recently launched his own talk radio show has been arrested and charged with multiple drug offenses.

Republican Jim Price of Wichita was arrested last month and charged in Sedgwick County. Prosecutors say that on May 17 he had 129.55 grams of dabs, a highly-concentrated hash oil, with intent to distribute, which is a felony in Kansas. He also faces misdemeanor charges of possession of steroids and marijuana, court records show.

He was initially arrested in May on suspicion of illegally possessing a gun and marijuana, but was not charged in court for that case until last week, court records show. The Wichita Eagle first reported that incident in September, when Price was running for a seat in the Kansas House. At that time, Price denied the arrest and charges had not been filed in the case.

Prosecutors filed charges against Price on March 25. That day, he bonded out of jail. The state is not pursuing gun-related charges, according to court filings.

His charging documents allege he had between 100 and 1,000 doses of THC dabs. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the the psychoactive compound in marijuana that makes a user feel “high.” A dab is a highly-concentrated THC-based substance that is typically made by extracting THC from marijuana plants with a solvent like alcohol or butane.

Price said in an email that he was recovering from surgery and would answer questions through email.

“This is an ongoing case and I can not comment at this time,” Price wrote.

Last month, a Sedgwick County District Court judge issued a warrant for Price’s arrest, court records show. He was released three days later on $15,000 bond after making a first appearance in court.

Between the time a warrant was issued and his arrest, Price launched his own AM talk radio show, “The Jim Price Show,” which airs Saturday nights from 7 to 8 p.m.

On March 12, Price appeared on the conservative talk show “The Voice of Reason” with host Andy Hooser, the treasurer of the Sedgwick County Republican Party. Hooser announced Price’s show as the latest local program on KQAM, a Steckline Communications station.

“It’s good stuff,” Price told Hooser. “I’m looking forward to going in and diving deep, just like you have, and make sure that we talk about the issues as they are real, not where we get this fluffed up stuff at the media level.”

Asked if he thought Price would be allowed to keep his show given the pending criminal court case, Hooser said, “the station itself really doesn’t have anything to do much with the show.”

Hooser said Price actually pays the station to have his show on the air.

“It’s kind of like an infomercial of sorts, where he pays for the time on the air to broadcast the show, and there’s a disclaimer on the show as well that you know it’s not in any affiliation with KQAM or Steckline Communications,” Hooser said.

“The Jim Price Show” has aired the past two Saturdays, Hooser said in a phone interview Monday.

Price said his show will continue. “This case will not effect my show,” he wrote. “I do plan to continue talking about current events and how they will effect (sic) each of us.”

The Jim Price Show is one of three local shows on KQAM, along with Hooser’s show and Shannon Stiles’ “Successful Living” show, according to the station’s website.

Price’s March arrest is the latest brush with the law for Price, whose unsuccessful campaigns for public office have included revelations about his criminal record.

Since Price started running for public office in 2014, he has lost four local and state elections. That year, he provided The Eagle with some of his criminal history, but research by The Eagle uncovered an additional conviction in a Texas gas station robbery back in 1990, when Price was 18, and an interfering-with-law-enforcement conviction connected to a 2012 marijuana bust at his home.

He lost in the primary election in 2014 to Joseph Scapa in the Kansas State House 88th District primary. In 2015 and 2016, he unsuccessfully ran for Wichita City Council and Kansas State Senate District 25. Last year, he made another run for the Kansas House in District 86, but was defeated by House Minority Leader Jim Ward.

Less than two months before election day, Price took down his campaign website and Facebook page after an Eagle reporter asked about his May arrest.

Price initially said in that September interview that he had not been arrested in May. “No, not that I know of,” he said.

Later in that interview, he refused to say whether police had arrested him. The Eagle obtained Price’s Sedgwick County Jail booking photo of Price from that date.

In September he said that would be his last time running for public office.

Contributing: Jonathan Shorman of The Wichita Eagle

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