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Trial date set for meth suspects

Jul 12, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

All four pleaded not guilty

Four defendants in May's countywide meth bust have a trial set for Sept. 16.

They all pleaded not guilty to the drug-related charges against them.

During an arraignment hearing July 9 in Lander's District Court, Travis Fauque, 21, of Lander; Shene Springfield, 37, of Lander; and Lyle Haukaas, 34, of Hudson, pleaded not guilty to one charge each of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine between Feb. 14 and May 22. The maximum penalty for the charge is 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Also on July 9, Joseph Summerlin, 40, pleaded not guilty to a charge of felony possession of a controlled substance. His charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Prosecutors allege that, on or about May 21, Sumerlin knowingly or intentionally possessed methamphetamine, according to court documents.

The four are among seven arrested in the extensive countywide drug investigation that involved wiretapping, surveillance and the use of confidential informants. In an affidavit, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agent Brady Patrick alleges the subjects were a part of a drug distribution network headed by another defendant, Timothy Pitt, 31, of Hudson.

On June 13, Pitt and a sixth defendant, Abigail White, 21, of Riverton, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine. Their trials also are set for Sept. 16.

Bonds adjusted

Wyoming's 9th Judicial District Court Judge Norman E. Young agreed to lower bond conditions for the four defendants arraigned July 9.

Fauque's lawyer, John Joseph DeLeon, asked Young to lower his client's bond from $100,000 cash to $30,000 cash at 10 percent, meaning Fauque would only have to post $3,000 to be released from custody. DeLeon said Fauque would be able to post that amount.

"We want to be able to present some information to the court in terms of his ability to maintain work, be out on bond, and seek treatment for any issues to show he's trying to address his situation," DeLeon said.

Fremont County Deputy Attorney Thomas Majdic asked that the bond be lowered to $50,000. Young agreed to the $30,000 figure and said the defendant would have to submit to a urine analysis test at the Fremont County Detention Center three times a week.

For Sumerlin, Majdic asked that the bond be increased to $25,000. Majdic said Sumerlin recently tested positive for methamphetamine during a urine analysis and has missed several test appointments. Young declined the prosecutor's request, however, agreeing with Sumerlin's lawyer that Majdic should have requested a hearing on the issue.

Haukaas's lawyer Daniel Caldwell asked the judge to lower his client's $100,000 bond to 10 percent of $10,000 saying the case against him is circumstantial. Majdic argued that Haukaas was Pitt's "right hand man" and said 10 percent of $50,000 would be appropriate. Young agreed to lower the bond to the prosecutor's number.

Springfield's attorney asked Young to lift a bond restriction that currently prohibits his client from leaving Fremont County. The lawyer said Springfield travels to other parts of the state with her daughter and visits a son in Colorado over whom she has joint custody. Young agreed to allow Springfield to travel within the state and to travel to Colorado to visit her son as long as she notifies her attorney. The judge also said Springfield would not have to take urine analysis tests as often as her bond originally called for, per her lawyer's request.

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