Dozens of stolen IDs found in traffic stop

SUBLETTE COUNTY – Three people arrested for possessing forged writings with intent to defraud and using a false identity after the driver was stopped for speeding each pleaded not guilty on March 18 to assorted felonies and misdemeanors.

On Feb. 9, Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper James DiMele stopped a 2020 Toyota Camry, rented by Antwan T. Kegler and driven by Nykolus K. Williams-Richburg with Jerquila K. Bell as passenger. The trooper said the car was going 88 miles per hour in a 70-mph speed zone, according to his affidavit.

Richburg provided a license and Social Security card in the name of Alvin L. Johnson and a citation was issued in that name, it says. However, a K9 drug dog alerted to the vehicle and a search yielded marijuana – as well as “dozens of stolen driver’s licenses, credit/ debit cards, checkbooks and a passport.”

The search turned up more than 50 items, including cell phones and a South Dakota woman’s completed check – “all stolen from numerous states over the past several weeks,” Trooper DiMele said.

The three were arrested and taken into custody, where Bell allegedly entered the jail with marijuana hidden on her person. A Green River FBI agent told the trooper Bell is “a known gang member of an identification theft ring out of the state of Florida known to the FBI as the ‘Felony Lane Gang.’”

Kegler, Bell and Richburg are each charged with felony counts of conspiracy to possess a forged writing, misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor interference with a peace officer and misdemeanor possession of marijuana, according to court records.

Kegler and Richburg are also charged with speeding. Kegler faces another felony charge of possession of a forged writing – for completing someone else’s check without authorization. Richburg is charged with driving with a suspended license. Bell is charged with the felony of taking a controlled substance into jail.

Each was bound over to 9th District Court where they pleaded not guilty to all charges in videoconference arraignments before Judge Marv Tyler. Trials are tentatively set for July 19.

In Circuit Court, Bell’s bond was set at $50,000 cash only and the two men’s bonds were set at $70,000 cash only. Richburg is represented by Rives White and Kegler by Elisabeth Trefonas. Sublette County Attorney Mike Crosson is lead prosecutor for what he called a “cross-country crime spree.”

After Bell pleaded not guilty, public defender Rachel Weksler asked Judge Tyler if Bell’s cash-only bond could be reduced or to cash-surety. Weksler said the Florida woman has six children, five depending on her, and Bell is willing to stay in Sublette County.

“It would take me an hour to fully address the court on reasons why this bond should not be reduced,” Crosson said, adding in the past Bell was charged with aggravated battery and felon possessing a firearm.

Weksler said meeting her bond would give Bell “an opportunity to be out and productive while her case is pending.”

Judge Tyler took the request under advisement.