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Wyoming News Briefs OCTOBER 9

Final Carbon Co. meth ring suspect faces arraignment

RAWLINS (WNE) — Implicated in the alleged delivery of narcotics after he accompanied a confidential informant during a small meth buy, a Saratoga man could face as many as 40 years in prison.

Richard Doyle Thompson, 39, is set for his arraignment on Friday in district court. He faces one felony count of delivery of a controlled substance and one felony count of conspiracy to deliver. Each count also holds up to $25,000 in fines.

On April 10, Thompson, according to court records, was asked to unwittingly ride with the confidential informant because the alleged dealer – Albert M. “Beto” Contreras, 35, of Rawlins – refused to sell anything without a known person present.

Just days before this, on April 5, another suspect, Gabriel Kristana Dickenson, 24, Saratoga, was with the wired-for-sound informant when they allegedly purchased nearly a quarter ounce of meth from Contreras from an apartment complex on the 900 block of 8th Street in Rawlins.

Once another buy was arranged, Dickenson said she couldn’t accompany the informant this time because she had “her child.”

So Dickenson asked Thompson to go with the informant during the purchase, to which he allegedly agreed.

The two would eventually meet Contreras at a gas station at Walcott Junction. After the purchase, Thompson, according to court records, was then dropped back off at his residence in Saratoga, while the informant subsequently met with investigators at an undisclosed location and turned over about seven grams of what later tested positive for meth.


Lincoln commissioners oppose power line

AFTON (WNE) — Lincoln County Commissioner Robert King says the commissioners have insisted Rocky Mountain power change the location of the proposed high power line that will run through the Cokeville area.

Right now there is a line that is south of the town and the power company has suggested running one to the north. King says there just doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of sense in the proposed plan.

“As we looked at that alignment and looked at the permitting involved there,” King said. “It looks like they’re going to be going through some private properties, some pivots, sage grouse core areas.”

He says this plan will totally encircle Cokeville with power which then will not make the community very attractive.

He says after a meeting with the Bureau of Land Management they learned there were some changes in rules to power lines. Originally it had to be 1,500 feet apart, but now it is only 200 feet.

“Well that allows them to put it down to the south… where the existing line is,” King said. “We’ve asked them to do exactly that.”

He says the BLM has not yet done the cultural review they have to do on that north line.

“I think there’s a really good chance of getting that line moved to the south in the existing corridor,” King said.

He also says Rocky Mountain Power is heavily investing in infrastructure right now, so the current line project has been put on hold.


New judge appointed for Third District Court

GREEN RIVER (WNE) — The Third District Court will have a new judge when Judge Nena James retires in October.

According to a press release, Governor Mark Gordon appointed Suzannah Robinson to be the District Court Judge for the Third Judicial District serving Sweetwater County. Even though James' retirement is effective Oct. 18, Robinson isn't sure if she'll start then. Robinson was one of three finalists, including Sweetwater County Attorney Daniel Erramouspe and Green River Municipal Court Judge Jason Petri.

"This was a difficult choice as all three candidates were talented individuals with the experience and legal background necessary to do the job," Gov. Gordon said. "Ms. Robinson possesses an evenhanded judicial demeanor and I found her to be a strong choice for the Third District bench."

In an interview, Robinson said she will try to start as soon as she can, but she will need to wrap up some of her cases first. Robinson, an attorney, is currently working for Lemich Law Center in Rock Springs. For Robinson, becoming a judge wasn't always something she had on her radar.

"When I initially went into law school, I thought I'd be a litigation attorney my entire career," Robinson said.

However, over the course of her career, she started to think about the possibility of becoming a judge.

Throughout her career, Robinson has worked in both civil and criminal law. Previously, Robinson served as a deputy county attorney for the Sweetwater County Attorney's Office from 2008-2015.


Jackson struggles to keep police officers

JACKSON (WNE) — The Jackson Police Department is so short staffed it has contracted with out-of-town deputies to help with coverage.

“We are having to think outside the box and get creative,” Chief of Police Todd Smith said.

The department has lost several officers in six months and hiring people to fill those positions can take anywhere from nine months to a year because recruits must attend the police academy and undergo training.

In a mutual aid agreement, Smith hired Lincoln County deputies to help fulfill the department’s Jackson Hole Airport duties.

It isn’t the first time Smith has contracted with Lincoln County to fill staffing gaps. Lincoln also helped cover the town’s airport shifts in 2017.

The Jackson Town Council approved the temporary assistance at its regular meeting Monday night.

The cost of the agreement will depend on how many hours the Lincoln County deputies work. But Smith said because the town has a contract with the airport to provide services, he doesn’t expect a “negative impact” on the town’s budget.

“The airport pays for five positions,” he said.

The mutual aid helps fill coverage at the airport, but even with the help the department is at minimal staffing in town.

Smith and his right-hand man Lt. Roger Schultz admit it’s a Band-Aid fix.

“We’re bringing on a reserve officer,” Schultz said. “It’s another body to work patrol.”

The staffing shortage is due to the department losing four of its longtime personnel in the last six months.


Man arrested after meth found next to 7-year-old

RIVERTON (WNE) — When Riverton Police Department officers discovered methamphetamine sitting in the back seat of a truck with a child, they arrested the child’s father.

29-year-old Charles C. Lambert of Riverton was arrested for child endangerment and possession of a controlled substance just before midnight Aug. 11, after an RPD officer on patrol pulled him over near North Federal Blvd. and Park Avenue in Riverton.

The officer had stopped Lambert because Lambert’s blue Ford truck had no license plate lamps. But during the stop Lambert could not produce his driver’s license, registration, or insurance for the vehicle. The officer asked Lambert and passenger Shaylee Lonedog to exit the vehicle so he could arrange for it to be towed.

Lambert’s 7-year-old child also exited from the back seat.

When searched, the truck yielded a digital scale and ashtray, both wearing residual white methamphetamine powder, in the back seat area. There was also a zip-loc bag containing meth remnants in the front console.

Possession of a controlled substance is a misdemeanor punishable by 12 months in jail and $1,000 in fines, but endangering children is a felony that can lead to a sentence of five years in prison and $5,000.

Lambert is being prosecuted in Fremont County District Court.


Two new pipelines planned across Goshen County

TORRINGTON (WNE) — Two new crude oil pipelines are planning to run through Goshen County, and one is set to begin construction before the end of this year, according to Ken Dockweiler of Bridger Pipeline.

The pipeline is a joint venture between Bridger and Phillips 66. Bridger will build and maintain the north portion of the pipeline, known as the Equality Pipeline, which will transport crude oil from North Dakota and Montana by way of a 20- inch pipeline that will originate in Hulett. The crude oil will travel through the Guernsey terminal, then into Phillips 66’s Liberty Pipeline, which will push the oil through the lower portion of Goshen County on its way to Cushing, Oklahoma.

Dockweiler, who spoke to the Goshen County Board of Commissioners during its Oct. 1 meeting, said Bridger would like to get boots on the ground as soon as possible to begin building the Equality Pipeline.

“You guys are probably familiar with the Liberty pipeline P66 is building,” he said. “That will take the oil into Cushing. This will help support that project, as well. We’re fairly early into the process, but as with any time you want to spend capital, you want to get to work right away getting a return on that investment. We’re on a pretty fast timeline.”

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