Oct 15, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff WriterThe Hudson man accused of leading a methamphetamine distribution ring in Fremont County is to stand trial Nov. 18 in federal court in Casper on new charges.
Timothy Pitt, 32, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the six counts a grand jury handed down Sept. 25.
Maria de la Luz Vargas, of Green River, will join him in court on one count. She also pleaded not guilty Wednesday. Prosecutors say she supplied drugs to Pitt.
Four charges against Pitt are for distribution of meth, each alleging he did so on a different date: Jan. 11, Jan. 17, Feb. 14 and Feb. 22. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Another count charges Pitt and Vargas with conspiring to possess 500 grams or more of meth with the intent to distribute it between January and May 2013. Penalties for the crime include 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine.
The grand jury lastly charged Pitt with using a firearm in relation with the conspiracy to possess crime. If he is convicted, the count would add seven years to any prison sentence Pitt receives.
The same day the new charges were filed, a previous case against Pitt and Vargas was closed. That case opened Aug. 21 when federal prosecutors filed a complaint against Pitt and Vargas charging them with conspiracy with intent to distribute meth and using a person under 18 years old to do so.
The penalty for each count is 10 years to life in prison, and combined fines for the crimes amount to $30 million.
A grand jury convened to hear testimony and see evidence against the two codefendants in closed-door hearings. Details of the proceedings --including what jurors heard to substantiate the new charges -- are not available to the public.
An affidavit filed in the case against Pitt and Vargas stated a confidential informant working with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation purchased meth from Pitt on each of the four dates listed in his distribution of meth charges.
The document also stated that DCI agents used phone taps and surveillance to record several transactions in April and May through which Vargas delivered roughly 800 grams of meth to Pitt in total.
The prosecution of Pitt and Vargas began in the state court system. The Fremont County Attorney's Office filed a conspiracy to deliver meth charge against Pitt on May 22.
District Court Judge for Fremont County Norman E. Young dismissed the case Aug. 23 after federal charges were filed.
An affidavit in the District Court case stated Pitt threatened one individual with a gun to collect on a drug debt.
Sweetwater County prosecutors charged Vargas with conspiracy to deliver a meth July 17, but a Wyoming District Court judged dismissed the case Aug. 23 so federal prosecutors could take it over.
Pitt had eight codefendants from Fremont County in District Court. None of them has yet seen a trial.
One, Travis Fauque, 21, of Lander, pleaded guilty Aug. 29 to conspiracy to deliver meth as part of an agreement with prosecutors. A Fremont County prosecutor Aug. 29 said a second defendant, Lyle Haukaas, agreed to a deal as well, but the attorney could not provide details.
On Sept. 3, Young remanded Haukaas's case back to Circuit Court, but the charges in his case have not changed. He also has faced one count of conspiracy to deliver meth, which is a felony.
Circuit Court only tries misdemeanor cases, indicating Haukaas's charges may ultimately be lowered.
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