Casper Police Watch ‘Known Drug House,’ Arrest Man
Casper police arrested a man Tuesday night after he allegedly left a "known drug house" and failed to use his turn signal.
Kevin J. Wirtala, 53, was booked into jail on recommended charges of methamphetamine and marijuana possession. He will likely make his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Charging papers say three officers were watching a "known drug house" at 7 p.m. Tuesday when they saw a white passenger vehicle pull up near the house. The driver got out, went into the house and stayed for one hour, then left.
After the driver left the house an officer watched the driver -- who was later identified as Wirtala -- travel northbound on South Nebraska and turn onto East 10th Street without signaling. The officer caught up with Wirtala, who then made another turn from South Beverly onto East 12th Street without signaling.
The officer stopped Wirtala at 12th and Conwell and gave him a warning for not using his turn signals. The officer returned Wirtala's driver's license and insurance card told him he was free to leave, and started walking back toward her patrol vehicle.
After two steps, court documents say, the officer turned around and asked Wirtala if he had weapons in his vehicle. Wirtala said he didn't, but the officer asked to check for weapons, and Wirtala reportedly consented.
Wirtala allowed the officer to search his pockets, where the officer allegedly found a marijuana pipe and a small amount of marijuana.
A search of Wirtala's vehicle allegedly turned up a Nintendo DS case beneath the driver's seat. Inside that case, the officer allegedly found several empty jeweler's baggies and one larger jeweler's bag which contained crystal meth.
Also inside the Nintendo DS kit was a red straw -- a tool used to fill jeweler's bags with meth -- as well as a glass meth pipe and a scale with meth residue.
Wirtala said he didn't know anything about the meth, but said he used meth on occasion. Wirtala allegedly told the officer that he had smoked meth earlier in the day with a man named Cliff.
Wirtala ultimately said he was the only one who drove his vehicle, and admitted responsibility for the drugs.
Wirtala was arrested. The meth reportedly weighed 3.7 grams without packaging, while the marijuana weighed just over half a gram including packaging.