Man arrested for alleged drug distribution pleads guilty

Brent Quickenden recently pleaded guilty to multiple counts related to possession and distribution of controlled substances during a hearing in the Third District Court of Judge Suzannah Robinson.

Quickenden was arrested May 16, 2023, which was one of many arrests made by the Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) around the same time frame for drug-related offenses.

Quickenden initially appeared before Judge Robinson on June 5, 2023 for an arraignment, where he was advised that he was facing 11 felony charges carrying a maximum possible penalty of 179 years in the Wyoming State Penitentiary or another facility designated by the Department of Corrections, $225,000 in fines, or both fines and imprisonment combined. At the initial arraignment, Quickenden pleaded not guilty.

Quickenden had another hearing on January 23, 2024, during which he changed his plea pursuant to a plea agreement. At the hearing, Quickenden pleaded guilty to one count of attempting or conspiring to commit the crime of delivery of a controlled substance, specifically methamphetamine, between January 23 and May 16, 2023; two counts of delivering methamphetamine on March 5, 2023 and March 30, 2023; and one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, specifically heroine, from May 16, 2023.

Because he was changing his plea to guilty, Quickenden was required to answer questions related to these counts under oath and give an account of the events that led to the counts.

"I was obtaining methamphetamine out of Colorado and bringing it back and selling it to my friends," Quickenden explained regarding the count for attempting or conspiring to deliver a controlled substance.

Quickenden said he mostly got the methamphetamine out of Commerce City, Colorado. He said he started with amounts around one or two pounds, but that "by the time I got done, he kept loading me up with more and more," and he had almost four pounds when he was caught. He said that trying to estimate the total amount of methamphetamine he had during the time period was hard to say since it was "kind of blurry," but it may be 10 to 20 pounds.

When asked if the friends he sold the methamphetamine to were then selling it themselves, Quickenden answered that he "would assume so." When asked if he sold large amounts to his friends, he said at times it would be multiple ounces.

When answering questions about the counts related to specific deliveries in March, Quickenden noted both sales involved around four ounces of methamphetamine, which he believed were sold to Kelly Jackson from Green River.

The last count Quickenden pleaded guilty to involved possessing heroin with the intent to deliver. Quickenden noted the heroine was found under a search warrant and he was in custody when it was served. Judge Robinson noted that the affidavit reported there were approximately 25 grams of heroin found in Quickenden's residence. When asked if he intended to sell or deliver the heroine, Quickenden originally replied "no," saying it was a bag for his personal use. After a discussion with Spence, Quickenden explained that he didn't realize the definition of distribution included sharing it with other people, even without selling it. After the clarification, Quickenden replied that it was his intent to deliver the heroine because he did share it with his friends.

Judge Robinson explained that the plea agreement included the agreement that there will be an argued sentencing at a later date. This means that both Teresa Thybo, representing the state, and Robert Spence, representing Quickenden, will make a recommendation to the court and present arguments and possibly evidence. It was explained that the state has agreed to cap their argument at no more than 15-20 years for the counts Quickenden pled guilty to.

There is also restitution involved in the case currently listed at the amount of $4,800, some of which is from some of the other counts Quickenden was initially charged with but did not plead guilty to, but Quickenden agreed that it was a fair and reasonable amount to pay as part of the consideration for the plea agreement.

Judge Robinson emphasized that the plea deal is a recommendation to the court that she is not required to follow, and she could choose to sentence differently once everything has been reviewed. She pointed out that she could potentially sentence Quickenden to up to 80 years imprisonment and fines totally $85,000, or both. If she chooses to sentence differently, Quickenden will not be able to withdraw his plea.

At the hearing it was stated that Quickenden had posted bond and been released from custody at the Sweetwater County Detention Center the day prior to the hearing, which was January 22.

Judge Robinson reiterated Quickenden's bond conditions, which include having no contact with James Combs, Robert Houston, Tracy Warren, April Arellano, Carrie Saunders, Erika Hill, Katie Koritnik, or Anthony Norton, several of whom were arrested in May 2023 around the same time as Quickenden.

Quickenden's argued sentencing has been tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. on March 22.

 

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