NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020

From Wyoming News Exchange newspapers

Man pleads guilty to stealing from Scouts, elderly woman

GILLETTE (WNE) — A Gillette man has pleaded guilty to taking more than $30,000 from the Boy Scouts while he was a scoutmaster and more than $120,000 from an elderly woman for whom he had worked and befriended.

Sentencing for Jason Ray Barnum, 42, will be March 5 on three counts of theft for taking $31,025 from the Boy Scouts and one count of obtaining goods by false pretenses for taking $122,573 from an elderly woman who had hired him to do repair work at her house.

Prosecutors will recommend an imposed three- to five-year prison sentence on each of the theft counts, to be served concurrently, and a suspended five- to 10-year sentence for the fraud and then 10 years of supervised probation.

As part of a plea agreement, he must pay $10,000 before sentencing to the woman, and he remains out on bond so that he can work to earn money to pay that restitution, according to court documents.

Barnum took money from fundraising activities and donations to the Scouts, spending some of it on trips to chase a woman in Iowa who he would later marry, according to court documents.

During the Gillette Police Department’s investigation of the alleged thefts, investigators discovered Barnum also had conned a 76-year-old Gillette woman out of $122,573 between July 2017 and May 2018.




Man indicted on money laundering, marijuana charges

JACKSON (WNE) — A grand jury has indicted Teton County man Bryan Jones and three co-defendants for conspiracy to distribute and manufacture a metric ton of marijuana and conspiracy to launder money.

The indictment stems from Jones’ Dec. 10 arrest after a five-year investigation into what federal officials called a large drug trafficking organization.

“From January 2010, through and including December 6, 2019, in the District of Wyoming and elsewhere, the defendants Bryan Callier Jones, Jeffrey Allen Fillers, Todd Dennis Harris and Gavin James Watt, did knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully combine, conspire, confederate and agree together and with other persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury to distribute and manufacture 1000 kilograms or more of marijuana, a schedule I controlled substance.”

The indictment was filed Jan. 15 in the United States District Court of Wyoming and calls for the defendants to forfeit property if convicted.

“On Oct. 31, 2016, an investigation was initiated by the Drug Enforcement Administration into the Jones Drug Trafficking Organization,” federal court documents state. “Information received from law enforcement sources in Jackson, Wyoming, indicated that Jones was trafficking large quantities of marijuana in the Jackson, Wyoming, area.”

Investigators had been surveilling Jones’ South Park house and tracking flight records and bank accounts.

Jones is out on bond, ordered to have no contact with his co-defendants or any witnesses. He’s also required to stay inside his Teton County home from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day.