Casper Man Gets Prison Time for Role in Multi-State Meth Trafficking Ring
A Casper man who earlier this year admitted to involvement in a multi-state methamphetamine trafficking ring was sentenced to a term of imprisonment Wednesday morning in Natrona County District Court.
District Judge Daniel Forgey sentenced 53-year-old Kenneth Brian Toles to a term of three to five years imprisonment, with Toles having previously pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge as well as two counts of delivering methamphetamine.
"He's charged with distributing methamphetamine in our community," Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk told Forgey during Wednesday's sentencing hearing. Schenk said that the charges in this case combined with Toles's criminal history -- which Forgey later noted included assault and attempted murder charges -- warranted incarceration.
This case marks Toles's first drug offense, Schenk said. He went on to request that Toles be ordered to pay $360 in restitution to reimburse the state for its pre-recorded buy funds, which were used by informants to buy drugs in the course of the investigation.
Forgey ordered that Toles pay any amount of restitution which Yeates had not already been ordered to pay.
Charging papers say the Casper office of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation was looking at a drug trafficking organization operating in the Casper area. Toles, Tammy Yeates and other co-conspirators were alleged to be part of the ongoing drug trafficking ring, which DCI agents believed was operating in multiple states.
During the first week of February, a confidential informant told a DCI agent that Toles was hanging around the Natrona County Library and was likely selling methamphetamine.
The informant also told an agent that Toles had sent a text saying, "hey when u come tomorrow bring my wife money other wise u dont get no goods."
Between Feb. 1 and Feb. 5, DCI agents recorded a phone call between another informant and Toles. In the phone call, the informant asked to buy a gram of meth from Toles, who agreed to the transaction.
The informant later participated in a controlled buy while being watched by DCI agents, purchasing what turned out to be .7 grams of meth from Toles for $100 in pre-recorded state buy funds.
Between Feb. 6 and Feb. 10, the second informant contacted Toles's girlfriend and asked to buy an 'eight-ball,' which is about 3.5 grams or an eighth of an ounce, of meth.
Yeates said, during that recorded phone call, that she'd let Toles know the informant was coming over to buy meth. The informant completed a controlled buy, purchasing 2.1 grams of meth for $260 in pre-recorded state buy funds.
Yeates reportedly smoked meth while the informant was waiting for Toles to complete the transaction.
On May 11, DCI agents contacted Yeates, who agreed to an interview. She told special agents that she and Toles were dating and had been living together in an apartment on CY Avenue since Dec. 20, 2016.
Yeates said she and Toles sold meth together to "numerous" people, typically in gram quantities. They charged roughly $100 per gram.
The affidavit says Yeates admitted to setting up at least 20 drug deals for Toles. She claimed that Toles sold about half an ounce of meth from the beginning of January through the end of February.
Yeates also said that Toles had her collect money owed to him by people for methamphetamine sales.
Public defender Curtis Cheney told Forgey on Wednesday that Toles had multiple discussions with law enforcement of his own volition, and those conversations were not part of any plea agreement.
Cheney said Toles has been in prison for roughly half of his life, and attempted suicide after being sentenced to prison in the 1990s. Toles still deals with health issues stemming from that attempt.
Toles had met Yeates on a dating website and fell in love with her, Cheney said, not knowing she was involved in methamphetamine trafficking.
Cheney asked that Toles be given a suspended prison sentence and serve a term of supervised probation.
"I want to apologize to the State of Wyoming for my conduct," Toles said before being sentenced. "It is a wake-up call for me."