RIVERTON — A drug-smuggling conspiracy involving deodorant and greeting cards was discovered last month, when jail staff found opiates glued in the stacked back paper of a card.
Renea Christine Ariks, 37, now has been charged with taking drugs into a jail, and with two counts of attempted suboxone delivery. Each delivery charge is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and $10,000 in fines, and jail smuggling is punishable by up to three years in jail and $3,000 in fines.
According to court documents penned by Fremont County Sheriff’s Office detective Levi Hallock, Ariks is the sister of accused drug dealer Charles Ariks, 35, who faces up to 30 years in prison for meth and marijuana dealing.
On April 14 Hallock was contacted by the FSO administrative assistant, who said that she and another assistant had found what could be drugs inside a card mailed to Fremont County Detention Center inmate Charles Ariks.
According to the staff, Charles received a greeting card in the mail with a return address for Cora Garcia, of Lander.
Later investigation would revel that Garcia had “no associations” with Charles, according to FSO’s system.
When they opened the card, staff discovered handwriting in marker on it, and were debating about whether the ink was allowed in the jail. At this time, one of the assistants noticed that something appeared to be inside the folded part of the card, which had been glued shut.
Once pried open, the card revealed an eight-milligram pack of Suboxone.
Suboxone is a schedule III controlled substance which is prescribed to treat adults who are addicted to or dependent on opioids, according to court documents.
Hallock seized the card and Suboxone as evidence.
Hallock found the words “love ya” with a heart drawn on the outside of the envelope. The card was addressed to “Charles” and signed by “Me” at the end of the note.
The writer told Charles to “stay strong and keep your head up.”
The folded part did appear to have been pulled apart and reglued around the Suboxone strip.
Hallock scanned through inmate telephone phone history for Charles, and found several calls to his sister, Renea.
Hallock reviewed the calls. Seven of them referenced getting a card in the mail, working on the card, strips, and who to get the packets from.
On April 9, a woman answered Charles’s call with “hey brother.” Charles then spelled out the name Rodolfo Torres, and the woman sounded as if she was writing the name.
Charles asked the woman to put $40 in Torres’s jail account and $20 on his own jail account, according to Hallock’s relating of the recorded phone call.
Charles told the woman he was working with another woman so that she could “get the stuff.” Five hours later, Charles called the woman again, and asked when she thought she could get that card in the mail.
The woman said she could maybe on Monday, and the card should be finished by then, but she needed to let it sit and dry. She said it should be good this time and will have “That glue.”
“And if it comes in with the name Cora, it’s from me,” the woman said.
“That’ll work, that’ll work,” Charles replied.
He then told her to take the card to Riverton and put it in the blue mailing box, because it doesn’t matter if it’s in a local box because it’s going to go to Casper.
He said “as long as it looks legit and doesn’t have any shinny glue on it, it should be awesome.”
“The other one looked okay and it made it in here,” he added. “Just make sure the edges stick a little better than the last one did.”
The woman said that’s why she was taking her time and doing it a little bit at a time so it would better than the last one and would seal The pair said “love you” and goodbye before the call ended.
One day later, Charles told his sister of more arrangements with meeting a woman to get some of “that stuff.”
Charles said it was a friend of his named Brittany, and that a man named Emory also was involved.
He referred to “sub sandwiches” they’d be getting. In a late-night call on April 10, Charles spoke with a male about several money exchanges and who owed whom what.
On April 11, Charles asked the woman what she was doing, and she said she’d gone to the store to cash her stimulus check.
Charles asked her if she’d get “that card” in the mail tomorrow or today. She said she’d try to get it in the mail today.
When reviewing video footage from the jail’s deposit kiosk, Hallock discovered footage of a woman with blonde and blue hair, who matched Facebook photos of Renea Ariks, to whom the phone calls also had been placed in which Charles had asked for money and “that card.”
FSO dispatch also found a driver’s license of Renea Ariks that matched the video footage.
Charles placed a call on April 14 to the same phone number, asking the woman to buy him Old Spice deodorant and to put some of the “stuff” inside the deodorant.
He then gave instructions on how to conceal a baggie inside the deodorant by taking apart the container.
The woman then agreed to bring the deodorant to the jail.
Charged April 19, Renea Ariks now has been bound over to Fremont County District Court for felony-level prosecution. Her prosecution is ongoing.