By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Eight people were sentenced to prison terms of 8 to 17 years in federal court this week in relation to a drug ring in Gillette.
Raymond Arthur Carnahan, Kelly Miles Finnessey, Terry William Clifford, Cody Lee Shuck, Antonio Cortes Saez, Heather Rae Thomas, Quinton Michael Case and Jennifer Ann Moss were all convicted and sentenced in connection with what state Division of Criminal Investigation investigators called a meth distribution conspiracy.
Around September 2019, the DCI began receiving intelligence that Carnahan was distributing methamphetamine in the Gillette area.
DCI agents learned Carnahan’s source of supply was in either Colorado or Arizona. Based on this information, agents determined Carnahan would travel to Denver or Phoenix to meet with his methamphetamine source.
Carnahan would then bring the methamphetamine back to Gillette for distribution.
To carry out distribution, Carnahan relied on other individuals, including all of his co-defendants — except Finnessey — to sell smaller quantities of methamphetamine throughout the community.
Carnahan then used the proceeds of these smaller sales to purchase additional methamphetamine from his supply source, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.
On Jan. 28, 2019, after a high-speed chase with Carnahan, law enforcement recovered 12 1-pound bricks of methamphetamine.
Through further investigation, DCI identified Carnahan’s source of supply as Finnessey, a Colorado resident.
Ultimately, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cheyenne prosecuted all eight, who were sentenced in U.S. District Court.
The sentences handed down were:
- Carnahan, sentenced to 200 months imprisonment;
- Finnessey, sentenced to 168 months imprisonment;
- Clifford, sentenced to 200 months imprisonment;
- Shuck, sentenced to 120 months imprisonment;
- Saez, sentenced to 121 months imprisonment;
- Thomas, sentenced to 97 months imprisonment;
- Case, sentenced to 130 months imprisonment;
- and Moss, sentenced to 169 months imprisonment.
“Methamphetamine continues to be Wyoming’s number one drug problem. This office’s concern is not only for the users who struggle daily with addiction, but also for their family and friends. Especially children living with a meth-addicted parent who are often neglected and subjected to dangerous, unpredictable conditions,” said acting United States Attorney Bob Murray. “Our strategy is to reduce the availability of methamphetamine throughout Wyoming by using a prosecutor-led, multi-agency approach to combat drug trafficking. We do this by targeting suspicious activity, using top-notch investigative work and tips from the local community.”
“The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) uses the force multiplier of the statewide drug task forces to combat illegal narcotics distribution in our local communities. This case is a prime example of how effective these task forces can be when local, state, and federal partners work together towards a common goal,” said Matt Waldock, DCI Region 1 Commander.
This crime was investigated by DCI, Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, and Gillette Police Department.
The United States was represented initially by Assistant United States Attorney Stuart Healy, who left the case after receiving a Wyoming judicial appointment, and later by Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Coppom.