News Release
Contact: Suzanne Halonen, S/A
Number: 303-705-7351

Meth Sold For Sex On Wind River Indian Reservation
DEA arrests 43, Seizes 20 lbs of Meth during Two-Year Joint Operation

(Riverton, Wyoming) - Jeffrey D. Sweetin, Special Agent in Charge of the Rocky Mountain Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Matthew H. Mead, U.S. Attorney for the District of Wyoming, Forest Bright, Director of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), and Doug NoSeep, Chief of the Wind River Police Department, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) announced 53 indictments and 43 arrests stemming from a nearly two-year investigation targeting members of the Claudia Hermosillo Methamphetamine Trafficking Group which operated on the Wind River Indian Reservation and throughout Wyoming.

During the course of this investigation, law enforcement seized over 20 pounds of high-purity methamphetamine, $100,000 in cash, and 20 firearms, including one machine gun. “The arrests of the Claudia Hermosillo Drug Trafficking Organization will considerably impact the distribution market on the Wind River Indian Reservation,” said SAC Sweetin. “The availability of this most heinous drug and its injurious effect on the community has been dramatically reduced as a result of this fine collaborative law enforcement effort.”

In the summer of 2004, the DEA Casper Office, the DCI Northwest Enforcement Team based in Riverton, and BIA in Wind River initiated an investigation into methamphetamine trafficking in Wyoming which led them to the Hermosillo Organization. A plague on the Wind River Reservation, the group was distributing over seven pounds of methamphetamine per month with purity levels of the drug reaching extremely potent levels. One pound of methamphetamine purchased during the course of the investigation fetched anywhere from $10,000 to $18,000.

United States Attorney Matt Mead stated, “It is my hope that, between this investigation and the Goodman case we announced last year, both of which have been large in scope and reach, it will be crystal clear to any who peddle meth that Wyoming is no safe haven for drug dealers. In Wyoming, our outstanding law enforcement officers have drawn a line in the sand, refusing to let meth permanently damage the quality of life we have long enjoyed in our wonderful state.”

The following organizations assisted in the successful conclusion of this investigation:

Riverton Police Department, Lander Police Department, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, Wind River Police Department, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, Wyoming Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Marshal’s, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United States Attorney’s Office District of Wyoming.
The defendants, indicted federally, are charged with various drug trafficking crimes. All charges can be found in either Title 21 or 18 of the United States Code (USC). Depending on the charge and the amount of drugs the defendants are alleged to have trafficked, they face prison terms of anywhere from ten years to life. The charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.