From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 31 - October 25, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Bust In Bondurant
DCI, SCSO, ATF, others arrest two, seize guns, drugs, money in undercover deal
by Joy Ufford

After an undercover “sting” operation to buy meth, two men were arrested in Bondurant when more than 20 law enforcement agents surrounded a rural home around 7:30 Monday morning.

Lawrence “Jake” Henry, Jr., 39, was arrested by Sublette County deputies at his family’s home on a federal arrest warrant for User in Possession of Firearms. Also arrested was John Varela, 37, for violation of probation through the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office.

Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) SWAT agents, Sublette County Sheriff ’s Tactical Response Team, Sublette County Sheriff ’s Narcotics Task Force and Investigations Division, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Teton County Explosive Ordinance Unit executed a federal search warrant on the Henry property based on a joint investigation using one or more confidential informers and undercover agents, said Sublette County Under sheriff Jim Whinnery.

“DCI and our Sublette County drug task force cultivated an informant or several informants that over the course of time made some buys from that residence,” Whinnery said Wednesday.

SWAT and tactical officers were positioned around the house and property, ready to break down the door down if needed, he said. “That’s the way I was designed to go,” he said, but deputies decided to just knock on the front door and when Henry opened it, he was arrested without struggle.

The Teton County explosives officers were present because “we had prior intelligence of the possibility of explosives on the property, explosive materials,” he explained.

When asked about an expectation that a meth lab might be found there, Whinnery said that they “had some prior intelligence that there may have been one there.”

They seized about 26 firearms, ammunition, marijuana, methamphetamine, $1,270 in U.S. currency, $600 in Wyoming State Buy funds, a vehicle with three VINs and other evidence “supporting the distribution and possession of firearms,” according to a press release from the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office.

The State Buy funds were provided by the DCI for use in the investigation, which is ongoing, he said. The vehicle had different VINs in different locations and was taken to “determine if it was stolen or the numbers had been altered.”

Wyoming Game and Fish Warden Bubba Haley of Pinedale also came to the home “to look at some things” that “looked suspicious” to officers, Whinnery said. At press time, Henry had been released to a U.S. Marshal to be taken to a federal facility for a detention hearing, but Whinnery did not know where that would be. Henry was still only facing the federal charge of “user in possession of firearms.” “The investigation is still ongoing,” Whinnery said.

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