Third Party Arraigned in Alleged Drug Conspiracy Out of Casper
A Casper man was arraigned in Natrona County District Court before Judge Kerri Johnson on Tuesday, July 18.
Mark Strobel was represented by Public Defender Tim Cotton, who negotiated a plea deal with prosecuting attorney McKenzie Morrison.
Strobel agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance—in this case methamphetamine—which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
In exchange, the prosecution agreed to dismiss a second count of conspiracy to deliver a (different, unnamed) controlled substance.
Strobel has other pending matters before the court involving multiple possession charges. Cotton outlined that, as part of the deal, his client would plead guilty to at least one of those charges, and that the seperate sentence will run concurrently to the conspiracy charge's; the deal asks that he be sentenced to no less than four years, no more than 7.
There is a cold plea provision, meaning that if Strobel violates bond conditions, he is on the hook for the maximum penalties, which could be more than 40 years behind bars.
The investigation began earlier this year on May 3rd when Casper Police conducted a traffic stop. At this time there was an active warrant out for Strobel's arrest. Police found 39.5 grams of meth, 14 fentanyl pills, one hydrocodone pill, and .2 grams of heroin in his vehicle.
Court records say that text messages on Strobel's phone showed exchanges with alleged co-conspirators—Larry Cuzick and Lindsay Rickert. The texts, along with GPS tracking information, suggest that the three traveled to Aurora, Colorado frequently to meet a supply source, then back to Natrona County to distribute.
Court records claim that Strobel traveled to Aurora, CO at least five seperate times in the month of April alone.
On May 28th, law enforcement stopped Cuzick while driving back from Colorado. Documents allege they found nearly two pounds of methamphetamine in the vehicle along with 25 grams of cocaine. The records say he was traveling with girlfriend Lindsay Rickert.
Both were arrested in late May, and both were initially charged with two counts of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and cocaine, felonies that could put them in prison for 20 years on each count. They were also charged with possession of each controlled substance, felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison on each count.
We will update this story as more information becomes available.