Two People Arrested for Operating Meth Lab in Laramie Plead Not Guilty
Two people arrested after authorities were tipped off that they were making methamphetamine pleaded not guilty to the charges in Albany County District Court Monday.
Robalee Gillen and Kevin Lee Stephens were arrested on Jan. 4 after agents with the Department of Criminal Investigation investigated them for producing methamphetamine.
Stephens is charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, conspiring to operate a clandestine laboratory, possession of a controlled substance precursor with the intent to engage in clandestine laboratory with the intent to engage in a clandestine laboratory operation and child endangerment. If convicted on all the counts, he could face up to 65 years in prison and $80,000 in fines.
Gillen is charged with conspiracy with or aiding another to engage in a clandestine laboratory operation and child endangerment. If convicted on all charges, she could face up to 25 years in prison and $30,000 in fines.
According to court documents, an investigation began after a confidential source told an Laramie Police Officer currently assigned as a task force officer and Special Agent with the Wyoming DCI on Dec. 12, 2017 that he had information about a person in Laramie who was possibly cooking methamphetamine. The confidential source said during an interview that he and the person, Stephens, had purchased an over the counter medication containing pseudoephedrine at a Laramie pharmacy.
The source said Stephens had also purchased lantern fuel on the same day and had told the source he now had enough ingredients to make his own methamphetamine and kept everything to make meth in a camper at his sister’s home.
The agent viewed Stephens purchasing the medication on security footage and also viewed Stephen’s receipt showing he had also purchased diabetes test strips, a pill crusher and plastic cups. The agent knew, through training, that these items are all precursors to produce methamphetamine, court documents state.
The agent learned that Stephens’ sister, Gillen, has a residence on South 13th Street in Laramie. Two agents began conducting surveillance on the house on Dec. 26 and were granted search warrants. The agents executed the search warrants on the home and the camper on Jan. 4. Agents found Gillen in a bedroom of the house. They also found three other adults and a juvenile child in the camper, who agents later learned where visiting Gillen for the holidays and were not involved in the methamphetamine manufacturing.
DCI agents also found a cooking vessel for a one-pot method of making methamphetamine along with lantern fuel and the medication containing pseudoephedrine.
Stephens admitted in an interview to making meth for personal use, saying he was addicted. He said he had cooked meth three different times in December 2017. He said Gillen knew he was making meth in the camper and he even had her purchase the medications with pseudoephedrine for him two prior times, since it is limited how much a person can buy in a month. Stephens said he did not know that Gillen was having family at her home at that time and said it wasn’t a big deal that the family members stayed in the camper as he was not cooking meth at the time.
Stephens and Gillen’s trials are set for June 11 and 12.