CASPER, Wyo. — A Fremont County man who spent the majority of his adult life jailed was sentenced Thursday to 4–8 years in state prison for his role in a methamphetamine delivery network based in Natrona County.
The state had charged Hedoduyehpua “Hedo” Thayer, 46, as an associate of Isaiah Wallace, who was sentenced to 12–18 years in prison in February.
Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigations agents say Wallace was arrested with almost 12 pounds of methamphetamine and over 2,800 fentanyl pills in March 2022.
Five were formally charged in the conspiracy. Eleven others, including Thayer, were charged in a grand jury indictment, which is extremely rare, Seventh Judicial District of Wyoming Catherine Wilking at the hearing. There was no affidavit or preliminary hearing for those defendants, one of whom was found guilty by jury trial this week.
Two defendants, Andrew Keller and Melvin Loveless, have since been charged with new drug felonies.
The state says Thayer was in communication with Wallace and arranged to have other co-conspirators drop methampheamine at Thayer’s home in Fort Washaskie, according to a filing by prosecutor Blaine Nelson.
The filing says Thayer would negotiate prices for deliveries of methamphetamine by the ounce. It says DCI agents also surveilled Thayer associating with Wallace in Casper. On one occasion, Thayer and another defendant had taken a pound-sized amount of meth to be broken up among others.
Thayer’s public defender from Campbell County, Rick Weisheimer, said that his client had been “caught in the wake” of addiction, and that there was good cause to delineate Thayer from Wallace and other leaders in the conspiracy.
“He’s not on the road slinging pounds on a monthly basis,” Weisheimer said. He said it was a common story in his experience that drug users often end up dealing to some extent.
He said the state’s proposed 10- 12-year sentence was “way off,” adding that the presentence report writer had a made a “brave call” in recommending Thayer for an Adult Community Correction program.
Thayer and his attorney also spoke about how Thayer had spent most of his adult life in prison.
“Everybody I tried to make proud was deceased. They’re gone,” Thayer said.
Thayer said that he’d gone from a 3.6 GPA in high school to spending 10 years in federal prison for assault.
When he got out, he said he looked at the people and families in the everyday world and felt like he was “10 years behind.”
“The people I knew before, I didn’t know them anymore,” Thayer said.
He was 33 when he was sentenced to seven years in state prison for an alcohol-fueled assault, after which he quit drinking, Weisheimer said.
Since getting out again, he learned he had a two-year-old child from a previous relationship: “I realized there is innocence,” he said.
“I’m disappointed in myself and embarrassed to be up here,” Thayer said, but concluded with: “I still like the person I see in the mirror looking back at me.”
Wilking ultimately imposed a four- to eight-year sentence, citing the two violent felony convictions in Thayer’s history. Nelson had also noted at the start of the hearing that Thayer’s state assessment showed a high risk for recidivism and severe problem with addiction.
Thayer will get credit for 312 days served.