Federal prosecutors charged a Casper man Thursday with two drug crimes after a McDonald’s restaurant reported him for allegedly doing drugs in the bathroom.
When officers arrested the man elsewhere, he still had his McDonald’s receipt from the time of the report on him.
But police agents already had their eye on Albert Gaines, who is 20 this year, and whom they believe to be “heavily involved” in drug and gun trafficking, according to an evidentiary affidavit filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for Wyoming.
Two officers watched Gaines and a woman pull up to a McDonald’s restaurant in Casper in a black Nissan car June 16. Police had recently arrested Gaines in an area where there were large quantities of fentanyl, methamphetamine and firearms, the affidavit says.
Gaines and an unknown woman entered the McDonald’s drive-through and ordered food. As they were driving away, they spotted the police agents watching them, the affidavit alleges, so they “abruptly” parked and went into the restaurant.
An hour and a half passed.
Employees at McDonald’s then called police saying a male and female, matching the descriptions of Gaines and his companion, were taking drugs in the bathroom.
“After Gaines tried to bribe the employee $150 to not call the cops, Gaines and the unknown female left abruptly on foot,” says the affidavit. Police couldn’t find them.
A little while later, the black Nissan was leaving the McDonald’s parking lot. Officers contacted the car’s driver, a woman court documents call “TH,” who said Gaines had picked her up and taken her to the restaurant to get the car, which was hers.
She said Gaines was headed back to his apartment and she didn’t know what was going on, except she wanted her car back.
Gaines had been using her car for the past 24 hours at least, the woman said, and she was angry with him because although they’d been dating, Gaines had another woman in her car.
An officer had his drug dog, Buster, perform a free-air sniff on the car, and the dog indicated the presence of drugs.
Police also found numerous guns when they searched the car, the affidavit says.
A pipe with fentanyl residue
A tin with suspected marijuana residue
A pistol on which police couldn’t find a serial number because of a lock on the trigger guard
9 mm ammunition
A 30-round magazine
A black 9 mm pistol
A Glock known to be stolen
A Springfield Saint
A .22-caliber long rifle
A green Beretta
Oh, A Receipt
Police went to Gaines’ apartment complex, where they found his car parked out front.
Gaines came outside a short time later and officers arrested him, then they searched him.
Court documents allege that police found on Gaines:
1.8 grams blue fentanyl pills
47.1 grams meth
$1,097 in cash
A blue scale with meth residue on it
A receipt for a McDonald’s purchase corresponding to the time when police were watching Gaines at McDonald’s
Police went to an apartment in which Gaines had been based on statements from other tenants.
They didn’t yet have a search warrant, but they conducted a “protective sweep” to look for people present who could destroy evidence.
In plain view sat meth, fentanyl paraphernalia and gun parts, the affidavit alleges.
They also found clothes associated with Gaines.
What’s In There
A Casper Police Department officer took Gaines to the Natrona County Detention Center. Agents voiced concerns that Gaines had drugs in his rectum, the affidavit says. Then, authorities took Gaines to the hospital because of a possible overdose.
So Much Swag
Meanwhile, officers received a search warrant for the apartment and two vehicles Gaines had been driving. They found:
29.1 grams of fentanyl on the car’s driver’s side floorboard
2 grams of meth, same floorboard
0.8 grams of meth in a WD-40 stash can in the car’s passenger side
A purple scale with meth residue on the floorboard
A grey lock box in Gaines’ bedroom containing 32.8 grams of fentanyl and about $10,000 in cash.
A black automatic Glock pistol in the bedroom
A Micro Roni that, police claim, can convert a Glock into a short-barreled rifle, in Gaines’ bedroom
A tan 30-round magazine in his bedroom
Two black Beretta magazines (bedroom)
AK-47 magazine (bedroom)
A box for the Beretta (in Gaines’ bedroom) bearing a serial number matching the Beretta police found earlier in the Nissan, at McDonald’s
A marijuana pipe with drug residue
A bong with meth residue
A mirror with fentanyl pill and meth residue
A small bag of meth (bedroom)
A meth pipe (bathroom)
A tooter with fentanyl residue (bathroom)
A piece of tinfoil with burnt, suspected fentanyl residue on it (bathroom)
The sheer volume of illegal materials prompted police to summon Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agents, says the affidavit.
40 Years, Maybe
Gaines faces up to 40 years in prison and $2 million in fines if convicted and sentenced consecutively on both counts he faces: possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.