RAWLINS – Two of the three suspects involved in a criminal case that originally stemmed from a loose case full of thousands of dollars being discovered by a plow driver along U.S Interstate 80 pleaded not guilty in Carbon County District Court.
On Friday, Gabriel Horton Kreb, 36, of Portland, Ore., pleaded not guilty to a mixture of 12 drug-related felony and misdemeanor charges. He’s suspected of transporting a large amount of marijuana as well as possessing pure MDMA, or ecstasy, with intent to deliver, hallucinogenic mushrooms and LSD.
On Monday, suspected fellow accomplice Nicole Catherine Williams, 33, also of Portland, Ore., pleaded not guilty to nine drug-related charges similar to Kreb’s case; however, she was not suspected of any LSD-related charges.
Earlier this month, another suspect, Cory Aldo Baxter, 36, of Ohio, pleaded not guilty to many of the same charges.
If convicted, all suspects face substantial time behind bars – with each felony charge posing either a five- or 10-year maximum – including thousands of dollars in penalties.
As to how these three suspects were originally apprehended by authorities came from a fortuitous string of events.
On Jan. 31, the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigations was notified of a large quantity of U.S. currency being found by a Wyoming Department of Transportation plow truck driver, which later turned out to be $53,844.
The driver was clearing snow on the eastbound lane of U.S. Interstate 80 near mile post 252 when he struck what was later discovered to be a black case, according to court records. The case was also observed to be open, with “currency blowing into the air.”
After the plow driver notified the Wyoming Highway Patrol of the loose money, A WYDOT supervisor received a call that same day from a group of travelers inquiring about the case. This later turned out to be Kreb, Williams and Baxter.
They were then advised by WYDOT to drive to their office in Elk Mountain to retrieve the contents. When they arrived, however, they were met with WHP troopers.
Upon contact, according to court records, a strong odor of marijuana was emitting from inside the party’s vehicle, which was a four-door Toyota Prius. This warranted an ensuing search, while the three suspects were placed in investigative detention.
Eventually discovered inside the car were six large duffle bags containing 81 plastic bags of suspected marijuana; one large duffle bag containing packaging material and approximately 259 vials of liquid THC, along with additional vials of THC; two zip lock baggies with suspected psilocybin mushrooms; one vitamin jar with capsules of a light brown substance, including an additional baggie with the same substance later testing positive for MDMA; cellular phones; and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia, including digital scales, money banding, air sealer and materials.
An additional $3,302 was discovered between Kreb and William’s persons.
Williams told DCI during a subsequent interview that the vehicle was Kreb’s and that their party was on a road trip, and that’d she be dropped off at her mother’s residence in Indiana. Meanwhile, she also expressed understanding that Baxter was headed to Ohio and that Kreb was possibly going to Louisiana.
When questioned about the case, Williams told authorities that she awoke to Kreb freaking out over something that fell off the car’s roof rack. High winds, according to court records, blew the case out of position.
Both Williams and Baxter told authorities that the money inside the case was likely to be used by Kreb for a down payment on a house in Louisiana. Baxter, who said he was picked up by Kreb and Williams in Salt Lake City, said he did not suspect there being a large quantity of marijuana in the car, and he denied being involved with its transportation.
Baxter also stated that his party was on the road for 30 hours before their apprehension.
Nowhere in the court records does it reveal that Kreb agreed to a subsequent interview with authorities; however, when being booked into Carbon County Detention Center, what later tested positive for LSD was discovered in his wallet, which warranted additional drug charges for Kreb.
A jury trial for all suspects will be set within 180 days of their arraignments.