Change of plea to resolve 2021 cocaine case
UBLETTE COUNTY – Jay E. Vanwagoner, of Casper, was charged more than two years ago with four cocaine felonies for allegedly possessing and selling two different amounts of the drug to a confidential informant in Sublette County.
The 2021 felony case’s resolution is expected on May 25 in 9th District Court.
He allegedly sold 2 ounces and then 4 ounces of cocaine in April and May 2021 to a confidential informant in Sublette County in recorded buys, according to an affidavit. He was charged with two counts for delivery of cocaine and two for its illegal possession, court records show.
Vanwagoner pleaded not guilty in 9th District Court on June 17, 2021, and was released on a $90,000 signature bond with a jury trial on the docket.
But the Wyoming Supreme Court imposed COVID-19 restrictions that delayed his (and other) pretrial hearings and trials in district courts.
Vanwagoner waived his right to a speedy trial. Now-retired Judge Marv Tyler set a November 2021 trial date aside and Vanwagoner remained free on bond, records show.
On May 3, public defender Rachel Weksler, Vanwagoner and deputy county attorney Adrian Kowalski signed and filed a plea agreement in 9th District Court.
Judge Kate McKay scheduled Vanwagoner’s change-of-plea and sentencing for May 25 at 10 a.m. Vanwagoner is expected to plead guilty or no contest to the two felony delivery charges, according to the agreement.
Kowalksi will argue for two 7- to 10-year concurrent sentences and “the defense is free to argue for supervised probation” with a condition that Vanwagoner successfully apply for and complete an adult community corrections program, it says.
Kowalksi plans to request dismissal of the two felony possession charges; restitution will be assessed for those as well, it says.
In 2021, the confidential informant reportedly told Sublette County drug detectives Toby Terrill and Karson Turner that he/she heard Vanwagoner was selling and delivering the controlled substance around Sublette County, according to Terrill’s affidavit.
On April 14, the confidential informant, carrying $4,800 in recorded “buy” funds, met with Vanwagoner in the county and received 2 ounces of what tested positive as cocaine, the affidavit says.
Then the confidential informant arranged with Vanwagoner to buy 4 more ounces of coke for $9,400 and that transaction reportedly took place on May 12, 2021, it says.