Last Defendant Sentenced in Casper Methamphetamine Conspiracy
The fourth and last defendant in a Natrona County-wide methamphetamine conspiracy was sentenced to nine years one month imprisonment, according to the sentence handed down by a federal judge in Cheyenne on Tuesday.
Keith Crakaal heard the 109-month sentence from U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson during a nearly one-hour hearing.
Crakaal will serve that sentence concurrently, or at the same time, to another sentence handed down in Natrona County District Court.
Johnson also ordered Crakaal to be on supervised release for five years after his release from custody, pay a special assessment and pay community restitution of $400.
In May, Crakaal pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a stolen firearm. A count of being a felon in possession of a firearm was dismissed at his sentencing.
In June, conspiracy ringleader Michael "Money Mike" Perez was sentenced to 15 years in prison on drug and gun charges.
Perez, Crakaal, Jerry Lane and Kristopher Hodgins were among Natrona County residents investigated for their roles in the conspiracy last fall and whose cases were bound over to federal court. Others were prosecuted in Natrona County District Court.
Hodgins pleaded guilty to conspiracy on May 8.
On July 15, Johnson sentenced Hodgins to seven years six months imprisonment and four years of probation after release from custody, and ordered him to pay $500 in community restitution.
Lane pleaded guilty to conspiracy on May 18.
On July 31, Johnson sentenced Lane to 10 years imprisonment and five years of probation after release from custody, and ordered him to pay $250 in community restitution.
Law enforcement began investigating the conspiracy last year.
On Sept. 30, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agents interviewed Benjamin Wentz at a home in the 400 block of South McKinley Street, according to an affidavit of probable cause,
Wentz allegedly told agents that he'd recently sold methamphetamine and that he sold it to "anyone and everyone who wanted some."
Other suspects investigated and prosecuted on the state level were Amanda Rodriguez, Blake Creekmore, Kenneth Lee Dalton and Makayla Helms-Pickett.
The investigation continued through October and most of the defendants were arrested in November, according to the affidavit.
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