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County backs off Pitt meth case after federal prosecutors intervene

Aug 27, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

Federal prosecutors have taken over the case against Timothy Pitt, the Hudson man accused of leading a ring of methamphetamine dealers.

"He's being prosecuted by the federal government," Fremont County Attorney Michael Bennett said. "He went Fed."

Charges Bennett's office filed against Pitt were dismissed on Aug. 23. Local prosecutors will continue with the cases against Pitt's eight codefendants who face drug charges and were arrested in the same countywide meth bust in May.

The U.S. Attorney's Office confirmed it is looking at Pitt's case but by press time did not have details about the federal charges against him.

"We do have that case," U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman John Powell said. "We may even just be evaluating it at this point...My best guess is we are deciding how to proceed."

Charging documents detailing the U.S. government's allegations against Pitt were not yet available, but Bennett thought the amount of drugs the Hudson man was believed to be selling elevated the case.

"Any time you have allegations of a drug dealer in the quantity of the amount of drugs (Pitt) is alleged to have pushed through Fremont County communities...it basically becomes a federal issue," Bennett said. "It was determined he was a proper federal target for prosecution.

Bennett thought Pitt would remain at the Fremont County Detention Center until his first federal court hearing.

Dismissed

The Fremont County Attorney's Office had charged Pitt with one count of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

In an affidavit based on an extensive countywide drug investigation that involved wiretapping, surveillance and the use of confidential informants, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agent Brady Patrick alleged that Pitt headed a drug distribution network.

District Court Judge for Fremont County Norman E. Young dismissed that charge a day after deputy county attorney Thomas Majdic filed a motion to drop it.

The dismissal was unrelated to Young's order from a week earlier that county prosecutors provide two warrants and other evidence to Pitt's attorney by Aug. 23,

"We had absolutely no problem obtaining that information and getting it ready," Bennett said in an interview.

Bennett said. If Bennett's office had not provided the evidence by the deadline, it would not have been admissible at Pitt's trial. The trial was set for Sept. 16.

Prosecutors would not have been able to introduce into court information gleaned from wiretaps on Pitt's phones if they could not first bring in the warrants that legalized those methods of surveillance.

Much of the evidence against Pitt listed in the affidavit filed with charges against him came from intercepting and tracing his phone communications.

Codefendants

The federal charges against Pitt did not affect the local cases against the eight others arrested in the May meth bust.

"Everything is business as usual with the other cases," Bennett said.

Three defendants besides Pitt had trial dates set for Sept. 16, but the County Attorney does not expect any of them to be in court that day.

"That's due to the sheer volume of discovery on the cases," Bennett said, using a legal term for evidence involved.

Defense attorneys may need more time to analyze it all.

Discussions with prosecutors about the cases "strengths and weaknesses" and "what the sate wants out of the case" could also be reason to postpone trials, Bennett said.

"They'll either be continued or some type of agreement will be reached," he said.

One codefendant, Abigail White, has had her court date vacated for a different reason: so she can attend in patient treatment. A new date has not been set for her.

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