June 8, 2017
The Casper man arrested in connection to the Saturday crime spree that sprawled across two counties appeared in court on related charges for the first time Thursday.
Christopher Eads, 34, faces 11 felonies: possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, possession of heroin with intent to deliver, delivery of methamphetamine, property destruction, possession of a deadly weapon with unlawful intent and six counts of aggravated assault and battery. The combined charges carry a maximum penalty totaling 160 years in prison.
Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Michael Patchen set Eads’ bond at $500,000 during his initial appearance.
Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk outlined the basics of the case against Eads as well as his criminal history. Since 2007, Eads has faced numerous criminal counts in Wyoming and Colorado, including charges of drug possession, domestic battery and theft.
Eads, dressed in orange jail scrubs, sat quietly while the charges were read and later said that there was no way he could ever meet that bond amount. He also said he had “definitely made some mistakes” in his life but that none of the past allegations was as serious as the ones he faces now.
Eads’ arrest was the result of weeks of investigation by agents with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, who suspected he was bringing large quantities of heroin and methamphetamine into Wyoming.
In April, agents with the division began interviewing numerous confidential sources who knew about Eads’ alleged drug trafficking, court documents show.
One confidential informant told an agent that Eads mostly focused on the sale of heroin but sold small amounts of methamphetamine as well. The informant said that Eads brought the drugs to Casper from Denver.
Another informant said they knew that Eads would bring up to two pounds of methamphetamine and half a pound of black tar heroin into Casper from Denver. The informant said they had seen the drugs at Eads’ residence on the 900 block of South Melrose Street as recently as late May.
Agents then used a confidential source to execute a controlled buy of 3.5 grams of methamphetamine from Eads in his residence, the documents show.
On June 2, investigators learned that Eads and his girlfriend, Santana Keener, were returning from a trip to Denver. DCI agents and Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers then made a plan to stop the Toyota Sequoia the two were traveling in as they approached Casper.
Troopers and agents attempted to stop the Toyota about 9:30 p.m. Saturday as it traveled north on Interstate 25, but the driver refused to stop.
During the pursuit, the passenger in the Toyota — later identified as Eads — started to shoot at the law enforcement vehicles giving chase. Law enforcement then used spike strips to puncture the Toyota’s front tires, but the vehicle still didn’t stop and instead started traveling down the interstate’s median toward other officers, who shot at the SUV.
The vehicle then turned around and drove south on the interstate toward Converse County at speeds over 90 miles per hour before taking exit 165 near Glenrock, documents show.
Law enforcement lost sight of the SUV for a short period of time, but later found it abandoned at the intersection of Fourth and Fir streets in Glenrock.
Assault on an elderly woman
While officers were searching for the Toyota, they received a report of an elderly woman who had been injured in her Glenrock home.
The woman, who was in her 80s, told investigators that a man had come through the back door of her home in the 600 block of South Fifth Street — near where the Toyota was found. She said the man pushed her to the ground before taking her car keys.
Doctors later found that the woman had a broken rib, a broken toe and a laceration to her scalp that required 18 staples to close, the documents state.
Law enforcement found that someone had taken the woman’s vehicle and driven it through her garage door. They later found the vehicle abandoned in a drainage ditch in northeast Glenrock. Eads’ girlfriend was arrested after she was found hiding about 400 yards from the ditch.
Keener later told agents that she saw Eads assault a Glenrock police officer before stealing his patrol vehicle and driving away, the court documents show.
Another chase and standoff
Eads crashed that patrol vehicle near mile marker 163 on I-25 before stealing another vehicle and continuing to flee law enforcement, the documents state.
Law enforcement pursued the third stolen vehicle until it came to rest in the parking lot of Dayton Transmission in Casper after it struck a spike strip.
For hours, Eads refused to comply with law enforcement commands that he surrender. After a “lengthy negotiation,” officers were able to take Eads into custody and take him to Wyoming Medical Center, where he remained hospitalized until late Wednesday.
In an interview with agents after her arrest, Keener said that she and Eads had been traveling with a “large amount of controlled substances” in the Toyota, documents state.
She said that during the first pursuit Eads had said that he was not going to prison and that “this was the end,” according to the documents. She said she saw Eads shoot at law enforcement during the chase.
She also said that she threw two guns and a bag of meth out of the Toyota’s window as they were pursued down the interstate. Authorities later recovered suspected methamphetamine on the roadway.
Keener also told investigators that she witnessed Eads assault the elderly woman and steal the Glenrock patrol vehicle.
Authorities later found 18 grams of heroin in Keener’s person during a cavity search after her arrest.
Keener appeared Tuesday in Converse County Circuit Court where she faced one count of possession of heroin, one count of possession of heroin with intent to deliver and one count of entering a building with intent to commit a felony. A judge set her bond at $25,000, court documents show.
Frosty Williams, deputy director of operations at the Division of Criminal Investigation, said Wednesday that agents with the Division of Criminal Investigation continue to look into the incidents and that additional charges could be filed against Keener and Eads as the case progresses.