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Two-year meth probe leads to five arrests in countywide action

May 24, 2013 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

Fremont County law enforcement made a fifth arrest early Thursday in connection with a countywide drug bust that began Wednesday.

Undersheriff Ryan Lee said Anthony Hernandez, 41, of Riverton, was arrested shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday following a short police pursuit.

A Fremont County Sheriff's Office deputy was attempting to stop Hernandez to issue the arrest warrant when he fled a short distance in his vehicle to his home in the 300 block of West Monroe Avenue in Riverton.

"The deputy asked for assistance and was joined by the Riverton Police Department, and Mr. Hernandez eventually gave up without incident and was taken into custody without incident," Lee said.

Hernandez is charged with conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, a felony punishable by 20 years of prison, a $25,000 fine, or both. He also was cited for eluding police.

His arrest marks the fifth in an intensive two-year investigation focused on the distribution of controlled substances in the Fremont County area. Lee said the investigation remains ongoing and the identification of other defendants and charges are pending.

Police arrested four individuals Wednesday on charges of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine -- Timothy Pitt, 31, of Hudson; Travis Fauque, 21, of Lander; Abigail White, 21, of Riverton; and Shene Springfield, 37, of Lander. Lee said the arrests occurred without incident.

All five suspects appeared in Lander Circuit Court on Thursday where Judge Robert Denhardt set bond at $100,000 cash each for Pitt, Fauque, White and Springfield, and $250,000 for Hernandez.

Preliminary hearings for the group are scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. June 5.

On Wednesday, officers from multiple agencies searched a home in the 200 block of Coal Street in Hudson and a second residence in the 1000 block of McDougal Street in Lander in connection with the arrests.

Lee said the investigation was a cooperative effort between the Fremont County Sheriff's Office and the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation. Other agencies playing a critical role in the investigation included the Lander and Riverton police departments, Washakie County Sheriff's Office, Wyoming Highway Patrol, Worland Police Department, Wind River Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Drug Enforcement Agency and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Officers worked with the Fremont County Attorney's Office and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

"We are committed to the identification, apprehension and dismantling of drug organizations in this county," Lee said in a news release. "We will not tolerate those that thrive off the distribution of controlled substances in our communities."

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