The lead defendant in a federal Casper-area methamphetamine ring was sentenced to prison last week, and another defendant pleaded guilty on Wednesday for his role in the operation.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl on April 8 sentenced Courtney Collingwood to 11 years eight months imprisonment to be followed by five years of supervised probation after her release from custody.

Collingwood pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine.

On Wednesday, co-defendant Brandon Betts pleaded guilty to the conspiracy count, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a federal drug trafficking crime.

Skavdahl said that depending on the results of the pre-sentence investigation, Betts could face a punishment of six years or more imprisonment for the conspiracy charge, plus an automatic consecutive five years in prison for the firearms charge.

Collingwood, Betts and another defendant named Tyson Middelsteadt, nicknamed "chicken," were indicted in July.

Court documents say  Collingwood assumed the mantle of a major local meth dealer after Michael Perez, nicknamed “Money Mike," and other defendants in the conspiracy were arrested in 2019 and sentenced in state or federal court in 2020.

As their cases wound their way through the justice system, Collingwood -- with the help of supplier Middelsteadt -- stepped up her game, according to the criminal complaint by a Casper police officer and filed in U.S. District Court in July 2020.

In December 2019, confidential sources told state and federal agents that they would accompany Collingwood to Colorado to buy methamphetamine for distribution in Casper and Gillette.

In January 2020, Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers arrested Brandon Betts and and Laura Barber and charged them with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and felony possession of methamphetamine.

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