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Drug overdose leads to woman’s felony arrest; preliminary hearing May 21

(County 17)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — A reported drug overdose resulted in a woman’s felony arrest for possessing cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone and other drugs at a hotel on Highway 14-16, Campbell County court records say. 

Sierra Copeland was arrested on May 13 on multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of drug possession in addition to misdemeanor drug use after Gillette police officers were dispatched to the National 9 Inn on Highway 14-16 for a report of a man who wasn’t breathing after overdosing on drugs, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case. 

When officers arrived, Copeland had already administered a single dose of naloxone, a drug overdose reversal medication, but the man still wasn’t breathing. Officers administered additional naloxone doses and performed life-saving measures on the man, who was ultimately transported to the hospital for treatment. 

According to the affidavit, officers reportedly observed a crystalline substance on one of the beds in the room and a “tooter” straw they believed was used to snort powder narcotics. 

After executing a search warrant, officers reportedly seized 7.3 grams of methamphetamine, 32 oxycodone pills, 32 fentanyl pills, two other oxycodone-based pills, a gram of marijuana and two-tenths of a gram of suspected cocaine, the affidavit states. The items were reportedly located on a bedside table, in a fanny pack and a duffel bag.

Copeland denied using any of the drugs found in the room aside from a marijuana cigarette and said that she was on her way to Casper. She provided conflicting statements about how she knew the man who was overdosing and then admitted to owning a gray Nike bag that officers found, per the affidavit. 

She allowed the arresting officer to inspect her mouth and nose, and the officer reported noting a green film on the back of her tongue and powder residue in her nostrils. Additionally, the officer observed her pupils were too constricted for the dim lighting of the room. The affidavit states the officer determined she was under the influence of an opiate, and Copeland was subsequently taken into custody for drug possession and use. 

Copeland will appear in Campbell County Circuit Court for a preliminary hearing on May 21, when a judge will decide if there is sufficient probable cause to send the case to District Court for further proceedings.

Correction/Clarification (5/21/2024): The investigation has revealed Copeland allegedly provided false identifying information during her arrest and subsequent court proceedings. She has been charged with perjury/falsely testifying in court, interference, and executing/authorizing a forgery, according to Campbell County Sheriff’s Office records.