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Four arrests in meth case; 300 grams seized

Jul 10, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer

Investigators seized narcotics, paraphernalia and other alleged evidence at a home at 1701 E. Park Ave. and a trailer house near Pavillion.

Four people are awaiting their arraignment in Lander's 9th District Court on charges alleging their participation in methamphetamine distribution in Fremont County.

Cory William Babione, 26, and Lacie Jo Snyder, 24, both of Riverton, and Jacob Hughes, 19, and Autumn Hughes, 20, both of Pavillion, face charges after authorities seized more than 300 grams of methamphetamine worth $45,000 in June.

Investigators seized narcotics, paraphernalia and other alleged evidence during the arrests June 14 and at a home at 1701 E. Park Ave. and a trailer house near Pavillion, police reported.

Charges

The Fremont County Attorney's Office charged Snyder with one felony count each of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine and endangering children, which alleges she allowed children to be in the house with the drug.

Jacob Hughes faces charges of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, three counts of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, two counts of delivery of methamphetamine, three counts of felony possession of methamphetamine and use of a firearm while committing a felony.

Autumn Hughes has charges of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, three counts of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, two counts of delivery of methamphetamine and felony possession of methamphetamine.

Riverton Circuit Judge Wesley A. Roberts dismissed two counts of felony possession of methamphetamine and another charge of use of a firearm while committing a felony during Autumn Hughes's preliminary hearing June 27.

Prosecutors charged Babione with two counts of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, delivery of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, use of a firearm while committing a felony and endangering children.

All jailed

All remain in jail on cash-only bonds of varying amounts: $250,000 for Babione, $150,000 for Jacob Hughes, $100,000 for Autumn Hughes and $50,000 for Snyder.

Jacob Hughes and Babione waived their preliminary hearings that would have allowed a judge to determine whether probable cause exists for their charges. Roberts bound over charges for Snyder and Autumn Hughes at the conclusion of their preliminary hearings.

Lander's District Court did not immediately schedule their arraignments, which will provide their first opportunity to enter pleas to their charges.

Informant's tip

A sworn statement by Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Brady Patrick accompanying the charging documents detailed the allegations leading to their arrests.

A confidential informant informed Patrick and a detective about an alleged deal to purchase 3.5 grams of methamphetamine from Autumn Hughes for $430 June 6 at the Buggy Bath Car Wash in Riverton, according to the statement.

The informant received the drug stuffed inside a Zippo-style lighter at the car wash on Pershing Avenue from Autumn Hughes, who left the area in a car driven by Jacob Hughes, Patrick wrote.

Allegedly the informant purchased the same amount the next day at the car wash from Autumn Hughes with Jacob Hughes again driving her, according to Patrick's statement. The drug allegedly came in an Orbit chewing gum package.

The informant had told investigators Autumn Hughes usually delivers methamphetamine in a container for concealment purposes, according to court documents. Police later said the car wash business did not have any involvement with the alleged purchases.

On June 14, the informant told authorities that Autumn and Jacob Hughes had 1 ounce of methamphetamine, and they would again be at the car wash, Patrick wrote, adding investigators contacted the two at the location.

When asked for identification, Jacob Hughes reached into the truck before an investigator pushed him away and found a loaded semiautomatic pistol in the map pocket along the door, according to the allegation.

Police arrested him and spoke with Autumn Hughes, who said she had an ounce of methamphetamine in her purse, according to Patrick's affidavit. She told authorities she and Jacob Hughes had traveled to Babione's house about 15 minutes earlier to get the methamphetamine.

She told investigators she saw a quarter-pound of methamphetamine inside Babione's house at 1701 E. Park Ave., according to the statement.

"Autumn Hughes further explained to Agents that she has known Cory Babione for most of her life and had purchased narcotics from him numerous times," according to the affidavit.

A short while later, authorities stopped Babione in the Loaf 'N Jug parking lot on North Federal Boulevard and questioned him about drug trafficking at his Park Avenue house, according to court documents.

"Cory Babione told the agents he had a large quantity of methamphetamine at his residence and that the agents would locate it in his bedroom in the nightstand drawer," according to Patrick's statement.

Babione said his girlfriend, Snyder, was aware of methamphetamine sales being made from the house where they lived together with her child, according to court documents.

Babione said the couple had moved the drugs from the freezer in their home to the bedroom nightstand to ensure that children would not find it, according to the affidavit.

Patrick said Snyder babysat other children in addition to her own at the Park Avenue home. She told authorities she knew about the drug dealing at the home, but she had "nothing to do with that," according to his affidavit.

"Agents asked Lacie Snyder about allowing the kids to be in the residence when she knew Cory Babione was selling 'drugs,' and she told the Agents that she was planning to move," according to the affidavit.

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