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Felony charges filed for 2 men following Highway 59 meth, fentanyl, cocaine bust

Campbell County Courthouse

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GILLETTE, Wyo. — Two men were arraigned in Circuit Court this week on multiple felonies after they were caught with over a pound of methamphetamine, a quarter-pound of fentanyl and cocaine on Highway 59, Campbell County court records say. 

Kieran J. Cowan has been charged with six counts of felony possession of a controlled substance as well as six additional felonies for conspiring with Charles J. Thompson to deliver those controlled substances following their arrest on Sept. 16, according to affidavits of probable cause filed in the case. 

Cowan and Thompson were stopped by a Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy for a traffic violation near Wright on Highway 59, the climax of a months-long investigation into alleged narcotics trafficking conducted by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, court records say. 

During the course of the investigation, Cowan was reportedly identified as a source of supply for the Campbell County area, with confidential sources telling DCI special agents that he would travel to Denver, purchase substances and transport them to be used and sold, according to the affidavits. 

Agents were notified that Cowan was making such a trip in a rental vehicle on Sept. 8 and that he intended to pick up large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl in Denver, court records state, adding that a local car rental establishment passed information regarding a suspicious rental that was past its due date on Sept. 15. 

The investigation revealed the vehicle was in Denver and was being operated by a known drug user, per the affidavits. On Sept. 16, DCI agents were notified that the vehicle was traveling northbound on Highway 59 from Douglas. 

Agents located the vehicle, a red Hyundai Elantra, in Converse County and observed it was being closely followed by a gray Hyundai Elantra. According to the affidavits, the agents suspected the second vehicle was a chase vehicle, a secondary vehicle that drug traffickers use to increase their chances of getting their cargo to the intended destination. 

While conducting surveillance on the two vehicles, the agents observed the gray Elantra drive onto the shoulder and enter the ditch at highway speeds. They contacted the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, which had a K-9 Deputy available near Highway 387 and Highway 59. 

The deputy pulled over the gray Elantra and identified the occupants as Thompson and Cowan. While speaking with them, the deputy observed a piece of tinfoil with suspected drug residue on the floorboard, and both men were detained, per the affidavits. 

After a drug dog indicated there were controlled substances in the vehicle, deputies conducted a search. From inside, deputies seized nearly a pound and a half of methamphetamine, a quarter-pound of fentanyl pills, four grams of fentanyl powder, 11 grams of cocaine, nine grams of muscle relaxers, various other pills in an unmarked prescription bottle, dozens of 9mm rounds and a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun, the affidavits say. 

The drug dog also indicated on the red Elantra, which stopped nearby when the other vehicle pulled over, though information regarding what may have been found or subsequent arrests was not available in court or arrest records on Sept. 19.  

Cowan and Thompson were both taken into custody, Cowan for six felony counts of drug possession and both men for six felony counts of conspiring to deliver controlled substances, court records say. 

They were both arraigned on the charges on Sept. 18 before Circuit Court Judge Paul S. Phillips, who set bond for Cowan at $500,000 and for Thompson at $150,000, court records say. 

Both men are scheduled to appear for preliminary hearings on Sept. 26 to determine if sufficient probable cause exists to send their cases on to District Court for further proceedings, according to court records. 

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