High-Speed Casper-Glenrock-Casper Chase Suspect Pleads Guilty
A Casper man who led scores of law enforcement officials on a high-speed chase with gunfire from Casper to Glenrock and back followed by an armed standoff in June pleaded guilty to multiple charges in federal court on Monday.
Christopher Eads faces at least 35 years to life imprisonment, according to federal sentencing guidelines in the July 10 indictment.
Eads' trial was set to begin Monday, but he entered the guilty pleas instead, according to minutes of the hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl in Cheyenne.
If the trial proceeded and he was found guilty, he would have faced 60 years to life imprisonment.
He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and methamphetamine; use and carry a firearm during in in relations to a drug trafficking crime; discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and aiding and abetting; carjacking and aiding and abetting; carjacking; and assault, resisting, or impeding certain officer or employee.
In exchange for the pleas, three other counts will be dismissed at the sentencing, according to the minutes of the hearing: possession with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine and aiding and abetting; discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; and felon in possession of a firearm.
Eads' sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 16 in Casper.
Thursday, Eads' co-defendant and girlfriend, Santana Keener, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and methamphetamine; discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and aiding and abetting; and carjacking and aiding and abetting.
In exchange for her pleas, three other counts will be dismissed at her sentencing: use and carry a firearm during an in relation to a drug trafficking crime; possession with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine and aiding and abetting; and felon in possession of a firearm.
She faces 35 years to life imprisonment, according to federal sentencing guidelines. If her case had gone to trial and she was convicted on all counts, she would have faced between 40 years and life imprisonment.
Her sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 22 in Casper.
Both cases started in Natrona County District Court, but were transferred to federal court in July.
The case started in April when an agent with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation discovered a drug-trafficking organization in Natrona County, and identified Eads as its main supplier of methamphetamine and heroin, according to court records.
Eads traveled to Colorado on a weekly basis to re-supply and expand the organization. The DCI later placed a tracking device on Eads sport utility vehicle.
On Saturday, June 3, state and federal agents knew Eads and Keener would be returning from Denver after a drug purchase and planned to stop them on Interstate 25 before they reached Casper.
Kenner was driving that night, realized she was being followed and a chase ensued. The engine of their SUV stalled, Eads started shooting at law enforcement, Kenner started driving again, Eads switched seats and he began driving toward Casper.
He stopped in a median, turned around and drove south toward officers at speeds up to 100 mph even after spike strips blew two tires and officers were shooting at them.
Eads drove into Glenrock. Officers found the SUV and shortly after that received a report of an elderly woman who had been assaulted in her home. Eads took the keys to her car, and drove it through a garage wall, according to court documents.
The car was abandoned in a ditch in Glenrock. Eads assaulted a Glenrock police officer and stole his patrol car.
Eads left Keener in the ditch in Glenrock. She was arrested and taken into custody where officers found heroin on her person.
Eads later crashed the police car, stole another vehicle and drove north on I-25. Officers chased him into Casper.
He stopped at Dayton Transmission on East F Street where the standoff ensued. It ended about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, June 4.