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Wyoming News Briefs June 9

 

June 9, 2022



Man who posed as another pleads in passport case

GREYBULL (WNE) — A Greybull man who lived under the assumed name of a dead man for more than five decades has pleaded guilty to two felony charges stemming from an investigation into his application for a passport in January 2021.

Peter Jeremy Martin, who had been using the name of James Delbert Libbey, entered the pleas to charges of making a false statement in a passport application and being a felon in possession of firearms on May 12 in U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming.

The criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court states that the National Passport Center received a renewal-by-mail application on Feb. 16, 2021. The name James Delbert Libbey and a date of birth in 1941 were used on the application.

The DSS investigation found the real James Delbert Libbey died in 1964 in Twin Falls, Idaho and that the man who applied for the passport was, in fact, Peter Jeremy Martin, who’d been born in Michigan in 1937.

Agents found corrections records from Idaho, where Martin had been incarcerated at the state penitentiary. They showed convictions of and incarcerations for several felony crimes including theft, armed robbery, burglary, attempted murder, reckless driving, assault and prison escape from 1956 to 1967 in Arkansas and Wyoming.

Martin was paroled from the Idaho State Penitentiary in 1967 and subsequently disappeared from the public record after 1970, the year the Social Security Administration issued a new social security number in the name of James Delbert Libbey.

This story was published on June 9.

Gordon forms group to look at gas price reductions

CHEYENNE (WNE) — Responding to surging gas and diesel prices, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has announced the formation of a Gas and Diesel Price Working Group that will focus on ways to find relief for consumers feeling the pinch of rising fuel costs.

The working group includes members of the governor’s cabinet, representatives of the transportation and agricultural sectors, citizens and legislators.

“Fuel prices have hit yet another high this past week, driving inflation affecting our seniors, veterans and all Wyoming citizens,” Gordon said in a news release. “Yet, all we hear out of Washington, D.C., is that it’s someone else’s fault, and there’s no end in sight. Here in Wyoming, we need to look for any possible way we can provide some relief for our citizens.

“I’m committed to considering any and all possible ways, including tax reductions, to provide some quick relief for consumers.”

The working group is tasked to examine a wide range of options and seek out any relief that will reduce the price at the pump of gasoline, diesel and other related products impacted by higher fuel prices in the state.

“It is no secret that the Biden administration’s failed economic policies have directly contributed to inflation,” Gordon added. “Americans are experiencing the direct consequences of President Biden’s bungled energy policy – from the president’s 2020 executive order banning oil and gas leasing on federal lands, to its dogmatic insistence on regulation over innovation to address the issues we face today. Americans are hurting and need some relief.”

This story was published on June 9.

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Group objects to hand count of past election ballots

CODY (WNE) — In response to a local group’s request to hand count ballots from the 2020 election, another local political group expressed its opposition to the idea at Tuesday’s Park County Commissioners meeting.

Wyoming Rising representatives Renee Tafoya and Phyllis Roseberry both asked commissioners not to allow the group Sons of Liberty (formerly the Park County Republican Men’s Club) to be able to proceed with the count.

Commissioners previously asked the state attorney general’s office for its opinion on whether the proposal would be legal and how they could handle the plan if they did move forward.

Other members of the groups, along with many people in support of the ballot counting, were in attendance for the meeting, although only the Wyoming Rising representatives spoke.

“To us, to grant a small group this request would cast doubt on the integrity of the secretary of state’s office to have a good election,” Roseberry said.

The proposal to count 2020 primary and general election ballots before they’re destroyed evolved out of an initial plan by the Sons of Liberty to do a hand count of the upcoming primary and general election ballots as a way, organizer Boone Tidwell said previously, of making many residents feel more confident about elections.

After being told by County Attorney Bryan Skoric that his reading of state law was that it would be illegal to hand count live ballots, the group switched to an idea to count past ballots. Thus county commissioners decided to ask Secretary of State Ed Buchanon’s office about the feasibility of doing the 2020 counts.

This story was published on June 9.

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