News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Meth crackdown continues with three new busts
Sep 19, 2013 - By Eric Blom Staff Writer
A traffic stop near Green River has led to felony drug charges against three Fremont County residents.
Elaine Laverne Fasthorse, of Riverton, Rose Marie Bell, of Arapahoe, and Richard Donald Christian, of Riverton, each face one count of conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to deliver.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
The charges are based on statements by a confidential informant, observed telephone messages and a staged drug transaction, according to the Riverton Circuit Court clerk's office.
On Sept. 2, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agents from the southwest enforcement team told DCI special agent Brady Patrick that a confidential informant had conspired with people from the Riverton area to sell meth and other drugs, according to Patrick's affidavit.
The next day, the informant told Patrick that either they or their marital partner had provided meth four times to a Riverton man they knew as "Rich."
Each time, they would front between 6 and 9 grams of the drug, and the man would pay them back after selling it.
The informant said they could set up another transaction with Rich, and they made several calls on Sept. 3 to set up a deal at the Tomahawk Motor Lodge in Riverton for later that day. Patrick and other agents monitored the calls from the informant's end.
A woman named Elaine was another of the informant's customers, they said. The woman had bought meth from the informant within the last three months. DCI agents observed verbal and text telephone messages between the informant and the woman to set up a transaction at the Tomahawk Motor Lodge also for Sept. 3.
Two people, identified as Fasthorse and Bell, arrived at the motel at 5:46 p.m. and went to the informant's room. Agents saw the two women speak with the informant as Fasthorse counted out $160 in cash, which she gave to the informant.
In exchange, the informant gave her what the informant said was 1 gram of meth, Patrick said. The "meth" actually was a benign substance resembling the drug that was provided by the DCI agents.
Agents then contacted the women after they left the room.
Just before 7 p.m., DCI agents saw Christian enter the informant's room, discuss the meth sale and accept a package the informant told him was 5 grams of the drug. DCI agents saw Christian leave the informant's room and contacted him later.
Later in an interview with DCI agents, Bell said a third person asked her to drive Fasthorse to the motel, and during the drive, people in the vehicle talked about buying meth there.
All of the charges stemmed from the traffic stop in Sweetwater County, according to the Riverton Circuit Court clerk's office.
On Sept. 2, Wyoming Highway Patrol stopped a vehicle seven miles north of Green River on Wyoming Highway 28 for speeding, according to a WHP statement.
Troopers deployed a drug detecting dog, and it alerted on the vehicle.
A search discovered 160 tablets of oxycodone and hydrocodone, .25 pounds of meth and a .357 caliber handgun in the vehicle. WHP also found the driver was driving on a suspended license.
Four individuals were arrested on charges of felony possession of a controlled substance and felony possession with intent to deliver.
The seized drugs were destined for the Riverton area, according to a follow-up investigation involving DCI special agents.
The WHP said the DCI made five more arrests near Riverton as a result of the traffic stop.
WHP also made two other recent traffic stops that led to drug charges.
The first was Aug. 26, 19 miles east of Cheyenne. A trooper pulled over a vehicle for speeding and deployed his drug detection dog, which alerted on the vehicle.
The trooper found about 4 pounds of marijuana in the trunk. The vehicle's driver and passenger were arrested and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and felony possession with intent to deliver.
The final traffic stop also was Sept. 2, but happened on Interstate 80 seven miles east of Laramie.
Troopers again pulled over a vehicle for speeding and searched the vehicle after a drug sniffing dog alerted on it.
The search turned up 80 pounds of marijuana, a small amount of meth and a hand gun. Felony possession of a controlled substance and felony possession with intent to deliver charges were filed against the vehicle's driver and two passengers.
The driver also faces charges of driving without a valid driver's license and speeding.
The WHP thinks the drugs seized from the second two stops were intended for a delivery outside of Wyoming.