Feds Detain Natrona County Man For Firearms Charge
A Natrona County man charged with drug and firearms violations did not attend his arraignment in Natrona County District Court on Thursday because he's in the custody of the federal government now.
Jeffrey Hallock was scheduled to appear before Judge Thomas Sullins and enter pleas -- either not guilty, not guilty by reason of mental deficiency, guilty, or no contest -- to charges of felony possession of marijuana, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
Hallock had been free on bond while the case was in Natrona County District Court.
But he didn't appear Thursday because a federal magistrate judge ordered him detained after a hearing last week, according to federal court records, Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk and Hallock's public defender Joseph Cole.
Sullins said he would try to have another hearing in a month.
On Nov. 28, Wyoming U.S. Attorney's Office took over the case specifically on the charge that Hallock was a felon in possession of a firearm when he was arrested in early November.
That same day, the federal prosecutor filed a motion to detain Hallock, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Teresa McKee agreed.
In her order signed Monday, McKee noted no condition or combination of conditions would reasonably assure public safety if he were released.
Hallock, the judge added, also deserved detention because of his prior criminal history, his history of violence or use of weapons, and his history of alcohol or substance abuse.
He was convicted of second-degree murder in 1984, and was convicted of felony possession of a controlled substance in 2005, according to court records.
The criminal complaint filed by the Wyoming U.S. Attorney's Office listed only the one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, which is punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment.
But it is possible that the U.S. Attorney's Office could take over the entire case from the state district court, and that could include a charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, which is punishable by a minimum of five years of imprisonment.
The case started during the summer when a sheriff's investigator received information from a confidential informant that Hallock had substantial quantities of marijuana in his house.
The Natrona County Sheriff's Office obtained a search warrant, and executed it at Hallock's residence in the area of Quartz Circle off North Cole Creek Road near Evansville.
Law enforcement officials found a shotgun, containers with 94 ounces of marijuana in bud form, liquid THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana), butter THC in plastic bags in a freezer, and cookies with THC.
They also found two digital scales and a small spiral notebook with pay/owe information about drugs, cash amounts, groceries and other items.