California Drug Thief Who ‘Never Heard Of Wyoming’ Gets 5-9 Years In Prison

The last of three California men who drove 900 miles to steal drugs from a Casper Walgreens, and who told police he had “never heard of Wyoming” before, was sentenced Tuesday to 5-9 years in prison.

DK
Dale Killingbeck

March 05, 20245 min read

The Casper Walgreens store that was robbed of drugs by three men from California in May 2023.
The Casper Walgreens store that was robbed of drugs by three men from California in May 2023. (Dale Killingbeck, Cowboy State Daily)

CASPER — A Stockton, California, man who told police he had “never heard of Wyoming” before robbing a local Walgreens of opioids last year will spend the next five to nine years in a Cowboy State prison.

Curtis Green conspired with friends Charles Jemison and Joshua Slaughter, who all drove from California to Casper because they wanted to rob a Walgreens. His role in the crime was to be the getaway driver.

He was sentenced to the prison term Tuesday by Natrona County District Court Judge Kerri M. Johnson, who also gave Green, 21, an opportunity to enroll in the state’s youthful offender program.

Assistant District Attorney Blaine Nelson argued that Green deserved the same punishment as Jemison and Slaughter who, in separate sentencing hearings Feb. 14 and Jan. 24, respectively, got five to nine years in prison for their actions.

“None of these three compatriots had any underlying substance abuse issues,” he said. “This was done for profit.”

900 Miles To Think

Blaine said the 900 miles the trio drove from Stockton to Wyoming gave them “a lot of time to think about what they were going to do” and that Green “was a necessary and integral part of this plan.”

Blaine said the Walgreens staff also were traumatized by the May 26, 2023, robbery and do not feel safe working in the store because of what happened. Their fear kept them from coming to court Tuesday to make victims’ statements, he said.

“The are afraid of retaliation and don’t want to relive it,” he said.

Green’s family was in the courtroom and his mother, Sherronica Champion, told the judge that he had a family who loved and supported him, and that her son had no prior history of legal issues.

“I know Curtis is remorseful and knows he has to be accountable for his actions,” she said. “I am pleading for leniency. He has never been in trouble before.”

‘Simply The Wheelman’

Defense attorney Steven Iberlin told the court that he did not want to minimize Green’s part in the crime, but told the judge that his client is young, celebrated his 21st birthday in detention, and was “simply the wheelman.”

“My client has zero criminal history, that should weigh heavily,” he said. Because of his “low risk” for a return to crime, Iberlin argued the judge allow his client to have an opportunity to enroll in the state’s Youthful Offender Treatment Program.

Green, who appeared at the sentencing hearing in an orange jail jumpsuit and chains, also addressed the judge, reading from a statement.

“I’ve very ashamed of my actions. I would like to apologize to the state of Wyoming,” he said. “I thank God every day that no one was hurt by me.”

Green told the judge that he “was glad this happened to me.”

“It gave me a lot of time to self reflect. Negative actions have negative consequences,” he said, adding that he vows to turn his life around.

“I have potential to do great things,” he said.

Judge’s Ruling

Johnson acknowledged receiving and reading the character letters in support of Green and the fact he had a clean record before May 2023. However, she said probation was not appropriate in light of the felony conspiracy to commit robbery, and delivery and possession of oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone charges.

She sentenced him to five to nine years in prison on both charges to be served concurrently, but agreed with Iberlin’s request to allow him to enroll in the bootcamp-style youth offender program.

“I don’t want you to think that this is an automatic sentence reduction for you,” she told Green. “I will give you the opportunity to engage in that program.”

Following his arrest last May, a police search of Green’s white KIA found a scale, a small pistol magazine, rifle ammunition, the stolen pills, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Police estimate the stolen drugs included 2,137 hydrocodone pills, 477 hydromorphone pills, 741 of oxycodone and 244 of methadone. They were worth about $4,715.

Arrest records showed Jemison and Slaughter entered the store with Jemison leaping over a pharmacy counter threatening staff with his hand in his pocket as if he had a weapon and taking a whole bag of oxycodone and everything in the case.

Jemison told police they decided to leave their town in California because they all needed money. They left the evening of May 25 and arrived at Casper at about 2 p.m. May 26, he said, adding that they may have chosen Wyoming for the job because when they typed Walgreens into a Google search, the Walgreens in Casper popped up.

But Instagram was their inspiration for robbing the Walgreens, Jemison said, according to the affidavit.

They had watched a video on Instagram months earlier showing them how to rob a Walgreens and go for the “hydros,” or hydrocodone.

Law enforcement agents caught up to and arrested the three men in Converse County, the affidavit says.

When a Casper Police Department detective interviewed Green back at the Casper station, Green told him that he’d never heard of Wyoming before, according to a court affidavit.

“I just feel hella stupid right now, for real for real,” Green reportedly said. “I just feel hella dumb.”

Dale Killingbeck can be reached at dale@cowboystatedaily.com.

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