VIOLENT METH DEALERS ARRESTED
Cheyenne, Wyoming - Today, Jeffrey D. Sweetin, Special Agent in Charge of the Rocky Mountain Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Matthew H. Mead, United States Attorney for the District of Wyoming announced the successful conclusion of an investigation focused on a Cheyenne-based methamphetamine trafficking ring. A member of the ring, James Scott SALI was involved in a drug-related shootout with police on January 20, 2006 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. On March 29, 2006, agents arrested eight (8) members of this methamphetamine trafficking organization for violations of federal drug and weapons violations. Four (4) other members of the organization have been charged but not yet arrested. This was the first investigation conducted by the co-located agencies in the new DEA office building in Cheyenne, which opened on January 13, 2006.
The investigation into this methamphetamine trafficking ring began in January 2006. This meth ring was responsible for transporting large quantities of methamphetamine from the Denver, Colorado area to the Cheyenne community for distribution. The investigation revealed this organization was distributing multi-pound quantities of methamphetamine in Cheyenne on a monthly basis. Various members of this methamphetamine trafficking organization routinely carried guns during drug transactions, for protection of drugs, the collection of drug profits, and to intimidate persons from contacting law enforcement. In addition, members of this meth ring were charged for distributing methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of the Alta Vista Elementary School in Cheyenne.
On January 20, 2006, James Scott Sali, a target in this investigation, fired four shots from a .38 caliber revolver at law enforcement officers after officers tried to pull Sali over on a routine traffic stop. Officers followed Sali to a local residence in Cheyenne where Sali was discovered hiding in the crawl space of the house armed with another .38 caliber revolver and an ounce of methamphetamine. Sali is currently incarcerated for state charges related to the shooting. “By firing a gun at law enforcement officers in defense of his criminal drug trafficking activities, James Sali exposed the entire organization. As a result of the investigation, 11 members of the Cheyenne-based organization were charged as well as the source of supply for the methamphetamine in the Denver area,” said Glenn Gaasche, Resident Agent in Charge of the new DEA Cheyenne Resident Office. As a result of this investigation, those arrested for Conspiring to Distribute Methamphetamine are:
"This investigation is the culmination of the collaborative efforts of the law enforcement entities that are co-located in the new DEA office building in Cheyenne. The successful investigation of a violent methamphetamine trafficking organization illustrates how the utilization of multiple law enforcement resources can benefit the Cheyenne community," said SAC Sweetin.
Those agencies co-located in the new DEA building in Cheyenne are Wyoming DCI, Laramie County Sheriff’s Office, the Cheyenne Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty. For further information, please contact Denver Field Division Public Information Officer Special Agent Suzanne Halonen at (303) 705-7351