Wyoming news briefs for April 19

Posted 4/19/22

News from across Wyoming.

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Wyoming news briefs for April 19


Lovell man drives into Super 8 Motel sign after recent crash on highway

POWELL — After driving into the Super 8 Motel sign at roughly 30 mph, James Gallagher, 38, of Lovell was arrested on April 5 on charges of unlawful use of toxic substances and driving under the influence. 

Powell Police Department Sgts. Dustin DelBiaggio and Sean Alquist responded to the Super 8 Motel on East Coulter Avenue at 4:30 p.m. following reports of a vehicle collision. 

According to the affidavit, a trail of fluid was leading to Gallagher’s GMC Sierra from the Super 8 Motel sign. A witness said the vehicle crossed both westbound lanes of traffic on East Coulter Avenue before running into the Super 8 Motel sign. 

Gallagher then allegedly parked the vehicle — which was damaged on the front driver’s side — and exited it with a brown paper bag, which he took into Maverik. He returned to the vehicle without the bag. A can of Blow Off Duster aerosol was found in the trash with a brown paper bag. Aerosols dispelled into a contained space can sometimes be inhaled as an intoxicant. 

According to Officer Matt Koritnik, a certified drug recognition expert, “between when the accident occurred and the time the intoxicant was discovered, the effects of the intoxicant had dissipated to a point that an exam or blood tests would not show inhalants.” 

Gallagher was involved in a collision the previous day on U.S. Highway 14A west of Ralston, where he received citations for careless driving and failure to maintain lane of travel, but he claimed to not have used inhalants at that time. 

Gallagher was cited for careless driving on U.S. Highway 14A in February 2022. He is currently out on a $1,000 bond and is not to operate any vehicle at this time.


City, county got combined $1 million from off-track betting in 2021

GILLETTE  The last year and a half has been a roller coaster ride for off-track betting in Gillette.

In May 2021, Gillette went from having three locations to zero due to a resolution passed by the county commissioners that gave the live horse racing operator control over off-track betting and simulcasting in the county.

By the end of the year, there were four off-track betting locations in Gillette.

Despite everything that went on in 2021, including four months where there wasn’t any off-track betting in the county, the industry brought in more than $1.01 million combined to the city and county.

The city and county each received $505,537 from off-track betting.

In mid-November, District Judge F. Scott Peasley decided the commissioners’ resolution should be stayed for as long as the litigation was ongoing. Wyoming Downs and Wyoming Horse Racing reopened its Gillette locations shortly after this.

307 Horse Racing now has locations in Sheridan and Casper as well.

This month, Peasley ruled the commissioners exceeded their authority with the resolution and that the resolution should be set aside.

In the past six years, the county and the city have received a combined $5.63 million from off-track betting.


Average Wyoming gasoline prices decline by less than a cent

CHEYENNE — Average gasoline prices in Wyoming have fallen 0.9 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $4.02 per gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy.com's survey of 494 stations in Wyoming.

Prices in Wyoming are 3.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago, and stand $1.12 per gallon higher than a year ago.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Wyoming was priced at $3.59 per gallon Sunday, while the most expensive was $5.25, a difference of $1.66 per gallon.

The national average price of gasoline has fallen 3.8 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $4.06 per gallon Monday. 

The national average is down 21.1 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands $1.21 per gallon higher than a year ago, according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million weekly price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country.


California man suspected of delivering 300 pounds of marijuana

GILLETTE — A California man caught driving through Campbell County with nearly 300 pounds of marijuana in a Toyota RAV4 has been bound over to District Court on charges of possession of marijuana and intent to deliver marijuana.

Circuit Judge Paul S. Phillips found probable cause to suspect Leng See Chang, 33, of the crimes and bound him over to the higher court on the felony charges.

Chang now awaits his arraignment.

He was pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy at about 11 a.m. March 31 when he was clocked driving 64 mph in a 55 mph zone near Highway 50 and Force Road.

The deputy noticed the back seats folded down and two tan sleeping bags covering something that took up nearly the entire back and “went all the way to the roof” of the SUV. He also smelled a “sweet odor” coming and going from the vehicle with the wind, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.

The deputy who pulled Chang over said Chang appeared nervous and that he saw Chang’s “chest heaving” when the K-9 deputy arrived.

At first, Chang denied having illegal drugs inside the car. But eventually, he admitted to having “a few hundred pounds” of marijuana in the back, according to the affidavit. A search turned up 16 large black garbage bags full of dryer sheets and vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana beneath the sleeping bags.

Each of the garbage bags held more vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana, weighing about 1 pound each, according to the affidavit. In all, the seized marijuana weighed 296.7 pounds.

Chang remains in the Campbell County jail.