Casper Man And Woman Plead Guilty To Misdemeanor, Formerly Felony, Drug Charges
A man and woman arrested a week-and-a-half ago for felony methamphetamine possession pleaded guilty to lesser charges last week in Natrona County Circuit Court.
A Casper Police officer pulled over Heath Branson and Aloh Pettyjohn early June 1 for a minor traffic issue, later searched them and found felony amounts -- more than 3 grams -- on each of them.
Thursday, prosecutors and their defense attorneys agreed to accept guilty pleas for misdemeanor possession each in exchange for 90-day jail sentences, one year of supervised probation, and substance abuse assessments.
Circuit Court Judge Michael Patchen agreed, heard their pleas, and handed down the sentences.
The case started about 3 a.m. June 1 when a Casper Police officer was patrolling the neighborhood of East A and North Jackson streets and observed a pickup leaving the area, according to court records.
The officer followed the pickup as it entered the southbound lane of Interstate 25, noticed the light was out over the license plate, and pulled over the pickup.
The officer spoke with the driver, Branson, and the passenger, Pettyjohn.
Branson told the officer he didn't know the light was out and couldn't find his insurance paperwork. Branson also said Pettyjohn was a traveling nurse and they were on their way to see a patient. However, the officer didn't see any medical equipment in the pickup.
The officer gave Branson a warning about the broken light and told him he was free to go.
The officer asked Branson if he could search the pickup, then asked him if he could search his person. Branson agreed to the searches.
Branson held a blue metal tube that has a white crystalline power, which probably was methamphetamine.
The officer asked Pettyjohn if she any drugs concealed on her person, and she said no.
But subsequently found a black cloth bag protruding from a hole in her jeans. The bag had two small plastic bags containing about a fourth of an ounce of meth and three glass pipes. Pettyjohn also had two small scales in her jeans.