Homeless Wyoming Man Faces Drug, Firearms Charges
A homeless man with a long criminal history in Wyoming has been indicted on drug and weapons charges in federal court.
Daniel Gerken, 35, is charged with possession with intent to to distribute methamphetamine, using a firearm during a federal drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of ammunition, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court two weeks ago.
If convicted on all counts, Gerken faces between five years and life imprisonment.
On Wednesday, he appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson and waived his preliminary hearing. He remains in custody.
Federal authorities weren't the only ones who wanted him.
Last week, he appeared in Natrona County Circuit Court to hear a charge of one count of delivery of methamphetamine.
On Feb. 17, Gerken told Judge Steven Brown during his initial appearance that he was homeless, had no phone, was unemployed, and had been in Casper only one day -- overnight in the county jail. He said the last place he lived was in Glenrock.
At Gerken's preliminary hearing Tuesday, Brown granted Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk's request to dismiss the state case because of the federal charges.
Gerken's criminal history in Wyoming includes convictions for receiving stolen property and drugs.
The federal case started as a state case in Gillette in December, according to the affidavit by a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent that accompanied the criminal complaint.
The Campbell County Sheriff's Office had an active arrest warrant for Ralph Hunnicutt-Carter who lives at a residence on West Second Street in Gillette.
While watching the house, sheriff's deputies saw a lot of people inside including Gerken.
Deputies contacted Hunnicutt-Carter and Gerken outside the residence.
Gerken smelled of marijuana, they said.
They saw a small plastic bag in one of his cargo pants pockets and asked him to remove it. It contained a small glass vial of liquid. Deputies noticed more small bags in his pocket and asked him to remove those, too.
The deputies arrested Gerken. When they were handcuffing him, he told them he had a pistol in his waistband. They also found small bags with 20.4 grams of methamphetamine and 24.8 grams -- nearly an ounce -- of marijuana on his person.
Wyoming State Penitentiary officials told deputies that Gerken completed parole in September for his latest conviction, according to the affidavit.