Hudson, Wyo. – Wire tapping and call tracing were key tools utilized by law enforcement in the recent arrests of six individuals involved in an alleged methamphetamine distribution system.
According to affidavits filed in the case against the six individuals, wire tapping was used to gain information about the drug ring.
Last week Timothy Pitt, 31, Hudson; Travis Fauque, 21, Lander; Abigail White, 21, Riverton; Shene Springfield, 37, Lander; Anthony Hernandez, 42, Riverton; and Lyle Haukaas, 34, Hudson were all arrested and charged with a single count of Conspiracy to Deliver Methamphetamine. Each charge is a felony punishable by 20 years imprisonment and or a fine of $25,000 or both. Hernandez, who was also initially charged with Eluding, has bond set at $250,000 cash. The other five’s bonds are set at $100,000 cash.
All six are currently scheduled to have preliminary hearings on June 5, beginning at 2:30 p.m.
The affidavit filed in the case was written by Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Andy Hanson. “Based on my training and experience, it is clear to me that T. Pitt is the main conspirator in the organization and he utilizes others such as A. Hernandez, (Cynthia) Payne, A. White, T. Fauque, S. Springfield and others not specifically named in this affidavit to further his organization and the distribution of Methamphetamine in and around Fremont County, Wyoming,” Hanson wrote.
Hanson begins the affidavit with two accounts of a confidential informant who allegedly purchased a total of 10 grams of methamphetamine from Pitt on Feb. 14 and Feb. 22, 2013. “Drug Agents observed and listened to the aforementioned drug transactions taking place for confirmation purposes and audio recordings of the drug transactions are currently maintained in evidence,” states the affidavit.
“On March 8, 2013, the Chief United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Wyoming, Kelly R. Rankin issued an Order for a Pen Register Trap and Trace Device to be installed on T. Pitt’s home telephone number,” states the affidavit. The number was allegedly supplied to the confidential informant during the two transactions. During those traces, the affidavit states Pitt was found to be in regular contact with the individuals listed above.
Later a second confidential informant allegedly told FBI Special Agent Swenson that Pitt was receiving the drugs from the Rock Springs area.
Through a review of the tracing records, Hanson wrote that Pitt was in regular contact with a Maria Vargas of Green River. “A review of State and Federal investigative records indicate that M. Vargas has been a person of interest as a possible source of methamphetamine in previous Controlled Substance Investigations.”
The affidavit states that on April 15, 2013, Ninth District Court Judge Norman Young issued an order to electronically intercept communications on Pitt’s home telephone. The affidavit states that on April 21, Judge Young issued another order to intercept calls on Pitt’s cell phone.
Hanson in his affidavit details a number of phone transactions from a 30-day period where Pitt allegedly conducted drug-related business with his co-defendants and Vargas.
“At times during these conversations (with Vargas) a child in Vargas’ residence would speak to T. Pitt in English and then be heard speaking to Maria Vargas in Spanish,” the affidavit states. “It was clear to the Drug Agents monitoring the conversations that T. Pitt and M. Vargas were utilizing the child in the role of interpreter to facilitate drug business discussions occurring between T. Pitt and M. Vargas.”
On April 15, the affidavit alleges that Pitt asked Fauque, Springfield and White to pay him. “In this particular intercepted telephone call, T. Pitt was instructing T. Fauque to hurry because T. Pitt did not have all of the money to pay his source and he needed the additional monies that T. Faque had to help make up the shortage,” states the affidavit.
The affidavit details another call where Fauque allegedly tells Pitt that he was “ripped off” by “Evelyn on the res.” “T. Fauque tells T. Pitt that he was given a five (five dollar bill) and a bunch of “ones” (one dollar bills) that were rolled up,” states the affidavit. “Then she (Evelyn) drove off leaving T. Fauque with only eleven dollars rather than the one thousand dollars that she owed him.”
A call on April 26, 2013, is described as a transaction with the child at the phone number registered to Vargas in Green River. “During this conversation, T. Pitt asks if ‘they’ are bringing him seven or eight ‘hamburgers’ and tells the caller that he is hungry for ‘hamburgers,’” states the affidavit. “T. Pitt also asks for ‘cheeta’ in his call and T. Pitt is told that they do not have any yet. In the context of all the monitored telephone conversations, usage of the words, ‘hamburgers’ and ‘cheeta’ are obvious references to drugs or drug monies or transactions. Obviously, T. Pitt is not asking Maria Vargas to bring him actual hamburgers from Green River, Wyoming.”
The affidavit states on the next day Pitt was allegedly seen getting into a vehicle with Vargas in Hudson and he left carrying nothing that to Hanson appeared to be hamburgers.
Verbal transactions with Haukaas and Hernandez are also described where “hamburgers,” “golfing,” “tee time,” “fly fishing,” and “swimming trunks” are alleged euphemisms for drugs or transactions. The affidavit states that on occasion, Pitt made comments in phone calls that indicated he was afraid his phone was being tapped.
A May 9 interview with a another confidential informant tells the story of Pitt allegedly threatening a man in Riverton for money with a gun. “The confidential source personally observed T. Pitt walk into the residence located in Riverton … and hold the gun to (the man’s) abdomen.”
One of the last conversations detailed in the affidavit is from from May 11 between Pitt and an unidentified man. “During this conversation, the unidentified male asks T. Pitt about C. Payne and A. Hernandez,” states the affidavit. “T. Pitt responds by laughing and telling the unidentified male ‘they’re my puppets’ to which they both laugh.”