State wants to keep vehicles and guns from Cody drug case

State wants to keep vehicles and guns from Cody drug case

When authorities arrested a Cody man in June on suspicion of methamphetamine, they seized his truck, SUV and handgun. The state of Wyoming now says she should be allowed to keep the items believed to be worth about $23,400.

In a civil forfeiture complaint filed last month, the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office asserted that Daniel R. Fekete, 52, was using his two vehicles and the gun to deliver or receive controlled substances. The Public Prosecutor asks the judge to hand over Fekete’s property to the state.

Charging documents say agents from the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation raided Fekete’s home at Green Acres Mobile Home Park on June 22 and found a pound of methamphetamine inside. Fekete was allegedly caught selling one ounce of methamphetamine to another Cody resident for $400 or $450, and the total value of the drugs seized from his home could have been tens of thousands of dollars.

Fekete was arrested and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Many details of the case were kept secret at the time, with the affidavit referring only to a joint drug investigation with agents in Montana. Even in mid-August, when authorities charged the man who allegedly bought the ounce of methamphetamine from Fekete, charging documents avoided naming Fekete as the seller. However, a forfeiture complaint filed last month by Chief Assistant District Attorney Kelsey Singleton includes additional details about the investigation.

For example, the complaint says DCI agents were surveilling Feketi’s Rocky Road residence on June 22 and believed methamphetamine had arrived inside a UPS package earlier that day.

A subsequent search of Fekete’s home, his 2004 Dodge Durango and a 2019 Dodge Ram turned up apparent meth, psilocybin mushrooms, a scale, an apparent methamphetamine grinder, and a Taurus G2 handgun, according to the complaint.

The document links the gun to the allegations, saying several methamphetamine rocks were found in a gun case. Additionally, Fekete allegedly allowed another person to transport methamphetamine in his Durango and personally used his Ram to pick up the methamphetamine in San Francisco in February 2022 and deliver the methamphetamine in Cody earlier this year.

Singleton is asking Park County Circuit Court Chief Judge Bill Simpson to order the two vehicles and the gun to be forfeited to the state, estimating the value of the Ram at about $20,000, the Durango at $3,000, and the Taurus handgun at $400.

To obtain these items, the state would need to prove by “clear and convincing evidence” that the vehicles and guns were used (or were intended to be used) to facilitate drug crimes, or that they represented the proceeds of drug crimes.

Fekete will have a chance to appeal the forfeiture, but records indicate he has not yet received a copy of the civil complaint filed on Oct. 2. As for his pending criminal case, Fekete remains free on $75,000 bail as he awaits trial on December 11. He pleaded not guilty.

Meanwhile, the man who allegedly bought methamphetamine from Fekete in June, Clinton James Bassett, faces a felony charge of possession of more than 3 grams of methamphetamine. Bassett, who turns 44 this year, is free on a $5,000 surety bond and awaits a preliminary hearing on Nov. 28.

To secure convictions in criminal cases, the Park County Prosecutor’s Office would need to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt — a greater burden of proof than the state faces in a forfeiture suit.

At Fekete’s initial court appearance in June, Park County Deputy Prosecutor Jack Hatfield hinted that the arrest was part of a broader, ongoing investigation, saying that the pound of methamphetamine seized from Cody’s residence “pales in comparison to the very large amounts of “Meth involved.” In this case.”

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