Accused of selling the fentanyl that killed a 27-year-old Cheyenne man, a Laramie man faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Wyoming charged Tristan Eickbush, 26, on Friday with one count of fentanyl distribution, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines.
The investigation started when Cheyenne Police Department officers found Andrew Gorman, 27, dead in his bed in a Cheyenne apartment March 7, according to an evidentiary affidavit by Cheyenne Police Department Officer Jake Reiber..
Gorman had last spoken to his family members March 3.
Reiber searched Gorman’s home and found numerous small, round, blue pills marked with an “M” on one side and the number “30” on the other, the affidavit says. Reiber believed they were counterfeit pills containing fentanyl.
Police also seized Gorman’s iPhone.
Reiber reviewed Gorman’s autopsy results, which the forensic pathologist concluded showed Gorman had died of accidental fentanyl poisoning after finding 4.1 nanograms of fentanyl polluted each milliliter of Gorman’s blood.
Let’s Meet At The Library
Police downloaded data from Gorman’s iPhone on May 23 and discovered a SnapChat conversation between Gorman and another man, later identified as Eickbush, the affidavit says.
Eickbush allegedly told Gorman he’d be “coming through Cheyenne” March 3, and offered to sell Gorman 10 “blues” for $120.
Reiber wrote in the affidavit that “blues” is street slang for fentanyl.
Gorman agreed to buy eight pills for $100 and to meet at the Laramie County Public Library in Cheyenne that day at 2 p.m., the affidavit says.
Eickbush said he’d be in a grey Jeep Cherokee Latitude, the affidavit relates. Gorman said he’d be in his Kia Optima parked toward the back of the lot.
The document says Gorman asked how much he should take at a time to avoid an “OD,” which Reiber interpreted as “overdose.”
Someone Was Watching
After reading the conversation, Reiber remembered that a retired police sergeant had reported witnessing a suspected drug transaction at the library that day.
The affidavit says the retired sergeant sent the report March 3 at 2:04 p.m. stating a grey Jeep parked next to a black Kia Optima in the library parking lot. A man got out of the Jeep, briefly into the front passenger seat of the Optima, then got back in the Jeep driver’s seat. The vehicles left.
The witness also took photographs, capturing the Jeep’s license plate number and pictures of the Kia Optima.
Reiber met May 25 with Gorman’s family members and confirmed that the photographs the retired sergeant took at the library depicted Gorman’s Optima, the affidavit says.
Reiber ran the Jeep’s license plate number and traced it to a 23-year-old woman whom authorities know, allegedly, to be Eickbush’s girlfriend.
Reiber interviewed Eickbush June 12.
Eickbush said he was Gorman’s “acquaintance” and had known him for several years, the affidavit says. Eickbush allegedly confirmed that his SnapChat account was the same as the one with which Gorman messaged the day of the library meeting.
“Eickbush admitted to traveling to Cheyenne, Wyoming in (his girlfriend’s) Jeep Cherokee Latitude and meeting Gorman in the parking lot of the library,” the affidavit says.
Eickbush speculated, the document adds, that he sold five pills to Gorman for $50 during the drop that day.
And Here’s A School
Reiber confirmed that the alleged library drug drop happened close to Saint Mary’s Catholic School on O’Neil Avenue in Cheyenne, the affidavit says. The school educates students from kindergarten through sixth grade, and sits about 230 feet from the library parking lot.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.