Two Plead Not Guilty to Fraud, Drug Charges
Two men -- one accused of drug possession with intent to deliver and the other of check fraud -- each pleaded not guilty Monday in Albany County District Court.
Miguel Hernandez, 21, pleaded not guilty to one count each of felony possession of marijuana and felony possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and $20,000 in fines if convicted.
Hernandez's trial is set for July 7-8 before Judge Jeffrey Donnell. Hernandez is free on $10,000 bond.
Hernandez was arrested after a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper pulled him over for speeding near milepost 414 on US 287 northbound just before 5 p.m. on Feb. 3.
Court documents say the trooper noticed nothing out of the ordinary when he first approached the vehicle. He planned to write Hernandez a ticket and send him on his way -- but when he returned to the vehicle deliver the citation, the trooper smelled marijuana.
According to the affidavit, a search of the vehicle revealed nearly 17 ounces of marijuana in 13 different plastic bags as well as 20 allegedly drug-related items and $1,408 in cash ranging in denomination from $100 bills to $1 bills.
Hernandez allegedly told the trooper that he picked up the marijuana from a friend in Colorado with the intention of delivering it to a friend in Laramie. The affidavit says Hernandez made conflicting statements, at one point telling the trooper the marijuana came from a "head shop" in Fort Collins.
Leonard Adam Helzer, 77, pleaded not guilty Monday to one count of check fraud. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Helzer's trial is set for July 7-8. He is free on $10,000 bond.
Court documents say Laramie police arrested Helzer Nov. 30 after Helzer allegedly wrote a check Aug. 1 in the amount of $1,430 that the victim could not cash due to insufficient funds in Helzer's account.
Police say the victim sent certified letters to Helzer on Sept. 8 and Nov. 12 requesting Helzer provide the amount the check was written for. Helzer allegedly told police on Nov. 14 that he had not tried to contact the victim and had not provided the funds to cover the returned check.