Informant helps law enforcement catch dealer

SHERIDAN — A Sheridan man will face charges in Wyoming’s 4th Judicial District Court regarding three felony drug charges. Mark Cook, 58, is suspected of illegally selling hydromorphone, an opioid-based medication derived from morphine.

Police arrested Cook March 11 after conducting an investigation that spanned several months and entailed an informant wearing a wire and buying the drug while the transaction was secretly watched by police.

The first deal was initiated by the informant, who had come forward to police. The informant made a phone call to Cook that was recorded by police, where Cook indicated “they” were $20 each, and set up a meeting near the Boot Barn on Main Street. Cook went through with the transaction and sold the informant six hydromorphone tablets July 30 of last year.

Then, on Sept. 26, Cook contacted the informant and indicated he had recently had his prescription refilled, and asked the informant if he would like to buy any 4 milligram Dilaudid (hydromorphone) tablets. The informant agreed and purchased 10 pills for $200, again while wearing a wire.

Cook is now charged with two counts of delivery of a controlled substance. Each count carries with it a possible $25,000 fine and 20 years in prison.

The money for both transactions came from state “buy funds,” and was provided to the informant by police to facilitate the collection of evidence against Cook.

Cook is the former roommate of 24-year-old Casey Gariffa, also of Sheridan, who was arrested in February under suspicion of selling heroin. Gariffa was arrested after a traffic stop.

A subsequent search of the vehicle yielded drug paraphernalia, a professional scale, and approximately 7 ounces of black tar heroin.

Police also discovered text messages between Gariffa and Cook’s known phone number that appear to set up an additional drug sale. It was the text messages that lead to Cook’s third charge of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance. The charge also carries a potential sentence of 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Gariffa is being charged with a set of three felonies, one of which is delivery of heroin. Gariffa will be arraigned in 4th Judicial District Court April 10.

Cook’s case was bound over to the District today and his arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

About

Tracee Davis

Tracee Davis joined the staff at The Sheridan Press in July of 2013. She covers business, energy and public safety. Tracee grew up in Kemmerer and has lived in several locations both in the U.S. and overseas. Her journalism training stems from her military service.

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