Casper-Area Man Accused of Dealing Meth, Threatening Witness
A man who was previously charged for his alleged role in a methamphetamine trafficking organization is also accused of threatening to kill people if they talked to authorities.
Michael Dwayne Ross, 39, was arraigned Thursday morning in Natrona County District Court on one count of witness intimidation.
Ross also faces charges of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and use of a firearm in commission of a drug-related felony.
He could be sentenced to up to 60 years in prison if convicted on all four counts.
Court documents say in January, a confidential informant told special agents with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation that Ross had been selling methamphetamine since August.
The informant reportedly said Ross got the meth from a source and then fronted it to a companion who would sell it for him. Ross allegedly carried a handgun at all times in order to protect the drugs and cash from sales.
Another informant reportedly admitted to selling four to five pounds of meth in the Casper area from November through January. The source also said Ross and his alleged co-conspirator, 31-year-old Donald Ray McIntosh, gave guns to "runners" who would sell meth for them.
In early February, Ross allegedly harassed a woman for what he believed to be her conversation with DCI agents.
Three days later, Ross allegedly went to the woman's house and accused of her of being a "rat." The woman was afraid Ross would physically harm her.
In the early morning hours, the woman -- who had been sleeping -- was awakened by a noise at her bedroom window.
She saw a man had taken the screen off and was trying to get inside the house.
The woman confronted the man. He called her a rat and said Ross was angry. He said Ross told him the woman was "working for DCI." He then repeatedly told her to stay away from DCI.
Ross had reportedly told the man to go to the woman's house to threaten her.
The next day, Ross himself allegedly showed up with a gun and told the woman, "keep your mouth shut or you're going to get it."
Ross later returned to the woman's home, charging papers say, grabbed her by the arm and shook her, leaving a bruise. He told her that he had only told two people about his meth business, and Ross believed she was the only person who might talk about it.
"If you don't stop talking, I will shut you up my way," Ross allegedly said.
From October through January, Ross allegedly brandished different handguns to the woman at least four times a week. The woman estimates Ross went through at least 15-20 handguns during that period.
For several weeks at the beginning of 2017, unknown people would reportedly drive by the woman's house and yell at her. They screamed things like "you f------ rat," according to an affidavit.
On Feb. 10, the woman woke up to find her tire slashed. She was too afraid to report it to police, and quickly changed it herself.
That same day, Ross allegedly showed up at the woman's home while another person was there. Court documents say Ross accused the man of "telling" and said he had the paperwork to prove it.
Ross allegedly told the man he was going to get the paperwork and, if the man's name was on it, Ross would assault him and then shoot him in the head.
The man bolted as soon as Ross left the room.
A special agent did some research on Ross and reportedly found Ross had used a gun to threaten a man over a small meth-related debt in early January.
And while he was concerned about other people talking to investigators, Ross evidently did so himself -- admitting in December during a conversation with DCI agents that he traded a pistol to a co-conspirator for an eighth of an ounce of methamphetamine.
On March 10, Ross allegedly pulled a gun on another man during a dispute over money.
In court Thursday, Ross pleaded not guilty to the witness intimidation charge.
Public defender Traci Hucke asked Judge Catherine Wilking to lower Ross's bond. But Assistant District Attorney objected, calling Ross "an ongoing threat to the witness."
Wilking refused to lower the bond amount, leaving it set at $50,000. Ross remains in custody.