Wyoming news briefs for June 4

In-custody alcohol arrests show concerning level of overconsumption

JACKSON – People showing up in police custody for alcohol consumption have been drinking a lot.

Jackson Police Chief Michelle Weber told the Teton County Board of Health last week that in late February and early March, the department’s “in-custodies” — people who were actually arrested — registered an average blood-alcohol concentration of 0.326. That’s a bit more than four times the legal limit to drive.

“That is a staggering number, in my opinion,” Weber said.

She didn’t provide the board with historical data, but a report from Utah in 2016 showed that the largest percentage of arrests for DUI it recorded involved people with blood-alcohol concentrations of 0.11 to 0.15. That same year, the highest blood-alcohol level in a Utah DUI arrest was about 0.37, not much higher than Teton County’s average during the late winter.

As for the high blood-alcohol rate of people in police custody recently, Weber stressed that it does not represent all alcohol-related infractions or contacts with police. People taken into custody are generally the ones who can’t find or remember where they are staying or are so drunk they need medical assistance.

It’s still concerning for health professionals and cops when the average arrest is above a 0.3 BAC. According to Stanford University, that level of intoxication means the person needs assistance walking, has mental confusion and is likely experiencing dysphoria with nausea and possibly vomiting.


Cheyenne spa owner, employee arrested for prostitution

CHEYENNE — A local spa owner and employee have been arrested for prostitution following an extensive investigation, the Cheyenne Police Department announced Thursday morning. 

In April, the department’s Community Action Team began investigating Asian Relax Spa, located at 619 W. Lincolnway. 

During the course of the investigation, detectives determined that workers at the spa were offering and performing sexual acts in exchange for money. 

On May 20, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a search warrant was executed at the business, resulting in the owner and an employee being taken into police custody. 

Both individuals were arrested on charges of prostitution, with the owner also being arrested for promotion of prostitution, which is a felony. 

The Community Action Team is responsible for investigating cases that require specialized police work and routinely conduct human trafficking investigations, police spokesperson Alex Farkas said in a new release. 

According to CAT detectives, more than 80 percent of commercial sex workers in the U.S. are victims of human trafficking. 


Falcon Car Corporation moving to Sheridan

SHERIDAN — A new corporation will join the Sheridan County Airport Business Park and is scheduled to complete a facility by 2025, adding an estimated 260 workers to Sheridan’s workforce. 

Falcon Car Corporation is a factory focused on producing vehicles. The business holds a license to produce 2,999 vehicles for each model year 2023 and 2024. 

The vehicles Falcon produces include Falcon 9X full-size pickup trucks and Falcon 3B buses. 

Business leaders chose the Sheridan County Airport Business Park based on its proximity to Interstate 90, rail services and aviation access with direct access to Denver International Airport, “which is essential for business travel,” according to a press release from the company. 

Falcon secured land, initial capacity building and permits to produce electric vehicles in the state of Wyoming, with additional production capacity increasing to 30,000 units by 2026, according to the release. 

Falcon Car is owned by DynamiX Energy Corporation. In February, the airport signed 40-year leases with both DynamiX and Falcon Cars. Falcon Cars is leasing five lots totaling 4.94 acres.

DynamiX is leasing two lots totaling 1.51 acres to house its corporate aircraft and to conduct light manufacturing and development of electrical flight systems.

The DynamiX lease commenced March 1, while the lease with Falcon began May 1, according to airport manager John Stopka. 

Construction on the new facility for Falcon Cars is set to begin later this year, Stopka said.