Handy arrested after ‘paranoid sniper’ report
SUBLETTE COUNTY – A man who received a split sentence on felony drug charges in July apparently violated his unsupervised probation after calling dispatch to report he was hiding from snipers at the Sublette County Courthouse.
On Oct. 12 around 3 p.m., Deputy Todd Morgan was sent to Mill Street to talk to John E. Handy, where he was hiding in his truck, according to the affidavit. A “very paranoid” Handy said 100 people were trying to “sniper” him from a building across the street, possibly Mafia people connected to an incident 20 years earlier, it said.
Handy appeared to hide behind an accumulation of clothing and items inside his truck.
The deputy said he tried to “make John feel safe by assuring him I did not see any people trying to snipe him, plus he was well protected now with me and other enforcement personnel arriving on scene.”
Morgan then moved his patrol vehicle closer so Handy would be protected as he left his truck and got in with the deputy, he said. Before Handy got in the patrol vehicle, the deputy asked to do a pat-down and found an uncapped used syringe with some clear liquid that Handy said belonged to a diabetic friend.
Handy was cuffed and detained; Deputy Morgan called drug detectives to see what was in the syringe and it tested presumptive positive as meth, the affidavit says.
On unsupervised probation, Handy was not to violate any laws; he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor meth possession and probation violation, it says.
Handy had been charged in January with three felonies – two of delivering a controlled substance, THC oil wax dabs, one of felony conspiracy and one misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance. In Circuit Court, he testified that he lives under “God’s precepts, ordinances and statutes,” not the government’s.
He pleaded not guilty in 9th District Court and one felony charge was dropped, records show. He was set to go to trial but he, public defender Rachel Weksler and Sublette County Attorney Michael Crosson reached a plea agreement.
On July 15, Handy pleaded “no contest” to delivery of a controlled substance, THC, and misdemeanor possession of THC. He was sentenced to five to seven years in prison, suspended, for a 30-day jail sentence and three years unsupervised probation.