A former Rock Springs man on the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office Most Wanted list was recently captured in Evanston, according to the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Department.
Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell said Daniel Wayne Smart, Jr., 38, was taken into custody at an Evanston residence by Officers Preston Sheets and Becky Landes of the Evanston Police Department on December 19. Sheets is an Evanston Police Department school resource officer who was at the residence performing a welfare check on several young children. At the residence he encountered Smart and determined that he was wanted in Sweetwater County.
Smart is charged with unlawful manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), felony-level possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), and interference with a peace officer.
As described in court documents, Sergeant Jubal Larimore of the Rock Springs Police Department responded late on the night of August 9 of this year to a report of two suspicious persons in the area of Virginia Street who were reportedly “messing around with vehicles’ gas tanks.”
Sergeant Larimore spotted a silver sport utility vehicle circling the block. The SUV pulled into the driveway of an address on Opal Street, and when Larimore approached it, two men jumped out of the vehicle and fled.
One of the men ran into the home and the other into the back yard, where he attempted to hide. As Larimore approached the man in the yard, he dropped “something relatively heavy” and refused Larimore’s orders that he drop to the ground. Larimore deployed pepper spray onto the man, subsequently identified as Daniel Smart, who, pursued by the officer, tried several times to clear the fence and was ultimately able to do so and “ran away into the desert.”
Larimore recovered what the man dropped, a bag in which was “a bank bag containing $6,003.00… a green glass pipe with white crystal inside consistent with those commonly used to smoke methamphetamine… a wooden pipe with suspected marijuana inside…” and “a wallet and ID belonging to Daniel Wayne Smart Jr.”
Larimore examined the ID and “found the photo to clearly be the person he had pepper sprayed in the back yard who ran away.”
Larimore and other RSPD officers searched the house and a cellar in the residence’s back yard, where they found the other suspect, whom authorities declined to identify. They also recovered a “small black and grey case,” which contained over 16 grams of methamphetamine “packaged in eight individual plastic bags.”
The second man was charged with interference with a peace officer and subsequently interviewed at the Sweetwater County Detention Center by Detective Bill Erspamer.
Smart’s preliminary hearing has been scheduled for January 2 in Circuit Court in Green River. As of press time, he remains in custody at the Sweetwater County Detention Center in lieu of a $25,000 cash or surety bond set by Circuit Court Judge Victoria Schofield.
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