Cheyenne Residents Worried After Fentanyl, Cocaine Bust In House Across From Elementary School

After a Cheyenne man was arrested for trafficking fentanyl across the street from a Cheyenne elementary school, a resident in the area told Cowboy State Daily the neighborhood was struggling and in steep decline.

Clair McFarland

June 17, 20224 min read

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After a Cheyenne man was charged this week with trafficking fentanyl near a school, the owner of the apartment building he lived in vowed to root out any other issues in her property.  

Robert Butler, 34, was indicted this week by a grand jury for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl near a school and with intent to distribute cocaine.  

Butler had been residing on South Cribbon Avenue, directly across from Goins Elementary School in Cheyenne. He was arrested April 28 when Cheyenne Police Department found cocaine and marijuana in his vehicle following a traffic stop.

When interviewed later that day, Butler admitted to U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency officers that he was a cocaine and marijuana dealer.  

Butler had just traveled to Colorado, he said, to buy $6,000 worth of cocaine.  

One of the DEA officers applied for and received a search warrant for the South Cribbon apartment. In the living room, agents found about 2.2 ounces of suspected oxycodone and/or fentanyl pills, more than 1.8 ounces of suspected cocaine, 2.8 ounces of suspected marijuana, a digital scale and box of sandwich baggies. 

If convicted on both counts, Butler faces up to 40 years in prison and fines of up to $6 million, according to the U.S. Attorney for Wyoming, Bob Murray’s office.  

‘Caught Me By Surprise’ 

Carol Ash, whose property management company owns the apartment building where Butler lived, said the whole incident came as a shock to her because the address hadn’t been a source of complaint or problems in the past.  

Nevertheless, said Ash, who learned of the arrest Friday in an interview with Cowboy State Daily, “It’s best that I know (this). I’m going to request a property inspection for that unit.”  

Robert Butler is not the registered tenant at the property, but the registered tenant shares Butler’s surname and is likely a family member, said Ash.  

“We haven’t had any neighbor complaints about (the tenant), and that man has always paid on time and he’s a very gentle soul, so this caught me by surprise,” she said, adding that people don’t always behave the same way as their visiting family members.  

She said there haven’t been other incidents in the complex “as far as I’m aware.” 

The Cheyenne Police Department on Friday did not respond to a voicemail requesting more information about the area.  

Ash said CPD had not notified her of the incident, which also surprised her.  

Been Like That For a While’ 

A resident who lives near the Cribbon apartment said the whole neighborhood has been struggling for at least three years.  

The resident, who declined to be identified out of fear for reprisals, said very few houses in the area are “actually owned” by their occupants and many are rentals and low-income or public housing.  

Ash’s units are privately owned and rented. There are multiple homes in the area owned by Cheyenne Housing Authority.  

“We (see) tenants coming and going all the time,” said the resident. He noted that in the past, there were about 20 teens and children living in one home in the area, some of whom would knock on neighbors’ windows in the night, cause problems at the elementary school, and brandish firearms on school grounds.  

The resident said the teens also seemed “violent” at times.  

But idleness and violence among youth seem to be on the rise in Cheyenne, said the man, adding that he hoped parents would engage their children more and give them real work, play, and purpose.

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter