Flinging the container of meth “as if you would throw a frisbee” Tonya Lara nearly hit BLM ranger Robert Lind across the face with both the object and her hand.
This is just one of the unusual aspects in a series of events that led to Lara’s attempt to escape and eventual arrest near the Cedar Mountain parking lot in May 2018.
One year later Lara, 33, is now facing charges for possessing a controlled substance in an amount larger than three grams and interference with a peace officer, charges carrying up to eight years in prison and $16,000 in fines. Lara was found with 6.9 grams of meth in her possession.
Lara was accompanied by Brian Workman at the time of the crime but he has not yet received any charges. Workman was fined $355 for use of controlled substances in November, stemming from an unrelated crime that occurred in the same month. This March he was also found guilty for use of controlled substances in Big Horn County.
Lind did not submit evidence to the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigations for eight months after the original incident, in January this year. The DCI crime lab completed testing of substances found in March. Lind would not comment as to why the case was delayed.
Lind and fellow ranger Kenneth Lloyd first came across Lara and Workman digging holes near the parking area below Cedar Mountain. Inside a red Dodge truck parked nearby were 4-5 rocks laying in the truck bed.
“It is my training and experience as a law enforcement ranger that individuals engaged in this type of behavior are searching for artifacts or items of cultural significance,” Lind wrote in the court affidavit.
Lind said he made contact with the pair to see if this was the case, but ended up finding much more.
After identifying himself and engaging conversation with Workman, Lind said Lara started filling in the hole she had been digging. She was also hesitant about giving out her personal information, allowing Lind to initially misspell her name, according to the court affidavit. Lind later discovered she had a warrant out for her arrest with the City of Cody.
When Lara went to the truck to get identification, Lind spotted a small cardboard container with straw and razor blade and a small greenish container with a baggy on top, inside the vehicle.
It was when Lind inquired about the items that Lara made her throw.
“The cardboard container went flying through the air,” Lind said.
Lara then tried to run away but Lind was able to grab her from behind. After she was apprehended, the rangers found more meth on Lara.
She was arrested May 28, but is out of custody after posting $5,000 cash bond May 30. She had a preliminary hearing delayed that was to occur June 5.
The hearing was delayed so Lara’s attorney, Robert DiLorenzo of Emblem, who had recently entered the case, could review it.