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Arrest near Muddy Gap nabs drug-laden automobile headed for Fremont County

RIVERTON (WNE) – A man who confessed he was headed to Lander with a backpack full of drugs could face up to 41 years in prison and $51,000 in fines if convicted.

Kenneth Anthony Prien, 38, was the passenger in a vehicle sought by state police for suspected drug trafficking. When searched, the vehicle revealed noteworthy quantities and varieties of drugs.

On Sept. 15, a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper saw a vehicle that matched the description of one reportedly transporting drugs near Muddy Gap, Wyoming. The trooper noticed the windshield was broken and performed a traffic stop on those grounds.

When speaking with the driver, 30-year-old Gabrielle Finlay, the trooper smelled marijuana “emitting from the cab of the vehicle,” court documents state. Finlay and her passenger, Prien, were detained.

Fremont County Sheriff’s Office deputy Travis Bench came to the scene and led his search dog to the outside of the vehicle. The dog “alerted” on the vehicle, indicating the presence of illegal substances inside it. Bench searched the car, and found a red backpack, containing what appeared to be more than one ounce of psychedelic mushrooms.

There was also a bottle of more than 30 red and white pill capsules containing a powder inside their casings which has not yet been identified, state court documents.

Further search revealed two sandwich-sized Ziploc baggies with about 24 grams of suspected meth apiece, totaling 48 grams together.

There was also one ball of black substance suspected to be heroin, weighing about an eighth of an ounce, a red digital scale, several empty baggies, and several marijuana cigarettes.

Prien is charged with one count of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, another count of the same category, but pertaining to heroin; and one misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession.