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Wiretaps, informants aided authorities in big meth bust
May 31, 2013 - By Christina George, Staff Writer
Six suspects have been arrested, and five remain in custody.
The arrest count in a recent methamphetamine bust in Fremont County now stands at six, and new details continue to emerge based on wiretapping and confidential informants used in the investigation.
Lyle Haukaas, 34, of Hudson, was the most recent suspect to be arrested. He was apprehended May 23 and taken into custody on three warrants through the Fremont County Sheriff's Office, including one for failure to appear and another for conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine.
Five others were arrested previously on the same charge of felony conspiracy to deliver: Anthony Hernandez, 41, and Abigail White, 21, both of Riverton; Travis Fauque, 21, and Shene Springfield, 37, both of Lander; and Timothy Pitt, 31, of Hudson.
All but one of the suspects remain in custody -- Springfield was released from the Fremont County Detention Center on Wednesday after posting 10 percent of a $50,000 bond that was originally set at $100,000.
Haukaas, White, Pitt and Fauque remain in custody on $100,000 bonds, and Hernandez is still in jail on a $250,000 bond.
All six defendants are scheduled for preliminary hearings June 5 in Lander Circuit Court. Fremont County Undersheriff Ryan Lee said the investigation remains ongoing, and he expects more arrests to be made.
Officials said their investigation began in February, when the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation had a confidential informant purchase about 10 grams of methamphetamine from Pitt at Pitt's residence on two separate occasions.
A second confidential informant told officers in March that Pitt was receiving the drugs from the Rock Springs area.
On March 8, an order was issued allowing for a tracing device to be installed on Pitt's home telephone numbers. Officials said the wiretapping in April and May revealed that Pitt was the leader of an organization of drug dealers in Fremont County. The information was included in affidavits accompanying charging documents for each defendant.
"Specifically, at various times during the referenced 30 days, T. Pitt is heard over his Verizon home telephone directing Travis Fauque, Lyle Haukaas, Abigail White, Anthony Hernandez, Shene Springfield and (a woman who has not been arrested) and others unnamed to come to T. Pitt's house for drugs; bring T. Pitt money; meet at various locations to pick up/drop off drugs and money," the affidavit states.
On April 15, 9th Judicial District Court Judge Norman E. Young issued an order for the interception of electronic communications on Pitt's home telephone. During the course of the wiretap, officials said trained drug agents who were monitoring the calls noted "obvious drug business discussions" occurring between Pitt and other defendants.
"Based on my training and experience, it is clear to me that T. Pitt is the main conspirator in the organization," DCI special agent Andy Hanson said in the affidavit. "(Pitt) utilizes others such as (his co-defendants) and others not specifically named in this affidavit to further his organization and the distribution of methamphetamine in and around Fremont County."
Green River connection
Hanson said he also learned Pitt was in regular contact with a woman in Green River identified as a person of interest and a possible source of methamphetamine in previous controlled substance investigations. Calls were monitored between Pitt and the Green River woman who is believed to be the drug source. At times, Hanson said the two used a child to interpret for the Spanish-speaking woman and Pitt.