THE FIRST OF FIVE DEFENDANTS IN A CASPER-AREA METHAMPHETAMINE RING WAS SENTENCED IN FEDERAL COURT THURSDAY.

U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE SCOTT SKAVDAHL SENTENCED JULIO GASCA-NIETO TO 10 YEARS OF IMPRISONMENT FOR CONSPIRACY AND DISTRIBUTION OF MORE THAN 18 OUNCES OF METHAMPHETAMINE.

GASCA-NIETO, SPEAKING THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, APOLOGIZED, AND SKAVDAHL ACKNOWLEDGED HIS REMORSE, BUT THE JUDGE SAID HE MADE HIS OWN CHOICES TO BRING MULTIPLE POUNDS OF METHAMPHETAMINE FROM COLORADO TO CASPER.

THE GRAND JURY INDICTMENT HANDED DOWN MARCH 15 CHARGED GASCA-NIETO AND THE OTHERS WITH MULTIPLE COUNTS RELATED TO THE CONSPIRACY.

THE FOUR OTHER DEFENDANTS HAVE PLEADED GUILTY AND ARE SCHEDULED FOR SENTENCING IN AUGUST OR SEPTEMBER.

LEAD DEFENDANT CINDY NOELLA WILLIAMS PLEADED GUILTY TO POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE METHAMPHETAMINE.

MICHAEL WILLIAMS (NO RELATION TO CINDY WILLIAMS) PLEADED GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO DISTRIBUTE METHAMPHETAMINE AND CARRYING A FIREARM DURING A DRUG TRAFFICKING CRIME.

WEDNESDAY, WILLIAM FLOYD HASSOCK PLEADED GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO DISTRIBUTE METHAMPHETAMINE.

THURSDAY, MICHAEL BRISSON PLEADED GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO DISTRIBUTE METHAMPHETAMINE.

CONVICTION OF CONSPIRACY TO DISTRIBUTE METHAMPHETAMINE CARRIES A MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCE OF 10 YEARS IN PRISON FOLLOWED BY FIVE YEARS OF PROBATION

COURT RECORDS SAY THE CASE STARTED LAST SUMMER WHEN THE WYOMING DIVISION OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION WAS INVESTIGATING A DRUG TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION IN WYOMING AND COLORADO.

ON DECEMBER 26, AGENTS FOLLOWED CINDY WILLIAMS, MICHAEL WILLIAMS AND GASCO-NIETO TO PARKING LOTS AT FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS ON THE EAST SIDE OF CASPER WHERE THEY EXCHANGED MONEY AND DRUGS.

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS THEN TOOK THEM INTO CUSTODY.
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A MAN APPEARED IN NATRONA COUNTY DISTRICT COURT THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND DENIED THREE CRIMINAL CHARGES BASED ON ALLEGATIONS THAT HE SEXUALLY ABUSED A SIX-YEAR-OLD GIRL IN 2010.

CHRISTOPHER TERRANCE COFFEY PLEADED NOT GUILTY BEFORE DISTRICT JUDGE THOMAS SULLINS TO CHARGES OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MIN OR IN THE FIRST DEGREE, SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR IN THE THIRD DEGREE AND SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR IN THE THIRD DEGREE. HE COULD FACE UP TO 85 YEARS IN PRISON IF CONVICTED ON ALL THREE COUNTS.

CHARGING PAPERS SAY THE CASE WAS ASSIGNED TO A DETECTIVE OF THE CASPER POLICE DEPARTMENT IN LATE FEBRUARY AFTER A POLICE SERGEANT REVIEWED A REPORT CONTAINING THE ALLEGATIONS FROM THE WYOMING DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY SERVICES.

ON MARCH 2, THE ALLEGED VICTIM PARTICIPATED IN A FORENSIC INTERVIEW AT THE CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY PROJECT AND DETAILED THE ALLEGED ABUSE.

COFFEY WAS INTERVIEWED BY POLICE IN EARLY MAY. HE INITIALLY DENIED THE ALLEGATIONS, BUT AFTER FAILING A POLYGRAPH EXAM, HE ALLEGEDLY ADMITTED THAT HE ABUSED THE GIRL.

COFFEY'S BOND IS SET AT $100,000 CASH OR SURETY. THE CASE HAS BEEN ASSIGNED TO THE OCT. 1 TRIAL STACK.
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THE PRICE OF OIL HAS BEEN RIDING HIGH LATELY, WITH PRICES WELL OVER THE $79 A BARREL MARK.

BUT ENERGY ANALYST PATRICK DEHAAN OF GASBUDDY DOT COM SAYS, THAT CAME TO A SCREECHING HALT THIS WEEK.

GAS PRICES ARE STILL UNDER $3 A GALLON BUT THE PRESIDENT HAS FLOATED THE IDEA OF TAPPING THE STRATEGIC OIL RESERVE TO BRIING THEM DOWN MORE.

DEHAAN SIMPLY DOESN'T SEE THE NEED.
MEANWHILE GAS PRICES IN WYOMING ARE AROUND $2.93 A GALLON.
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UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING PSYCHOLOGISTS FOUND THAT MORE THAN ONE IN FOUR STUDENTS - 27 PERCENT - EXPERIENCED AT LEAST ONE INSTANCE OF SEXUAL ASSAULT DURING THEIR TIME AT THE UNIVERSITY.

THE PSYCHOLOGISTS DISCOVERED THE FIGURE THROUGH A WIDE-RANGING SURVEY OF STUDENT EXPERIENCES AND PERCEPTIONS.

UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY MATT GRAY, WHO CO-WROTE THE SURVEY WITH GRADUATE STUDENT TESS KILWEIN, SAYS THE NUMBERS ARE "TRAGICALLY HIGH AND UNACCEPTABLY HIGH, BUT THEY AREN'T ATYPICAL."

UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT LAURIE NICHOLS SAYS THE PREVALENCE OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT, SEXUAL ASSAULT AND RAPE AT THE UNIVERSITY DEPICTED IN THE SURVEY IS "COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE," BUT ADDED THE NEW DATA CONFIRMS A "HUNCH" SHE HAD THAT THE UNIVERSITY IS COMPARABLE TO OTHER INSTITUTIONS OF ITS SIZE.

THE UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING HAS A STUDENT POPULATION GREATER THAN 12,000.