Second Of Five Casper Meth Conspiracy Defendants Sentenced In Federal Court
The second of five defendants in a Casper-area methamphetamine ring was sentenced in federal court Thursday.
U.S. District Court Judge Skavdahl sentenced Michael Burton Williams to 10 years one month of imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and a consecutive five years of imprisonment for carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.
Two other counts -- possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and felon in possession of firearms -- were dismissed as part of Williams' plea agreement in June.
He will be on supervised probation for five years after his release from custody, according to minutes from the sentencing.
The grand jury indictment handed down March 15 charged Williams and the other defendants with multiple counts related to the conspiracy that operated from July 1, 2017, to March 15.
The other defendants -- Julio Gasca-Nieto, Cindy Noella Williams (no relation to Michael Burton Williams), William Floyd Hassock and Michael "Deuce" Andrew Brisson -- have pleaded guilty.
Gasca-Nieto was sentenced July 19.
The case started a year ago when the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation was investigating a drug trafficking organization in Wyoming and Colorado, according to an affidavit filed in Natrona County Circuit Court in January. The case later was turned over the Wyoming U.S. Attorney's Office.
Cindy Williams, Michael Williams, Gasca-Nieto and Vanessa Saputra were identified among the alleged co-conspirators. (Saputra was not named in the federal indictment. Hassock and Brisson were named in the federal indictment, but not in the Natrona County Circuit Court affidavit.)
After a controlled buy of methamphetamine from Saputra by an undercover agent in September 2017, DCI agents interviewed her in October. After being read her rights, she said Cindy Williams and would either sell her or front her the drug in 1-ounce quantities at $300 per ounce.
Law enforcement agents surveilled Cindy Williams' house in east Casper, learned she would obtain methamphetamine in Denver, and re-distribute it in Casper and Cheyenne.
On Dec. 26, agents learned she had about $13,000 to buy about 2.5 pounds of the drug from Gasca-Nieto.
Later that day, agents saw Cindy Williams and Michael Williams, and Gasca-Nieto's wife drive to parking lots at two east Casper fast food restaurants, where they appeared to exchange money and drugs. Gasca-Nieto's wife did not know of her husband's drug trafficking.
Law enforcement agents moved to arrest them.
Williams tried to drive away, but was blocked by vehicles of law enforcement. Williams ran, an officer took him down, and he told the officer he had a gun. After he was taken into custody, he was found to have a loaded .38 Special in his pants.