Two men were arrested Thursday for the alleged production of methamphetamine in an East Jackson home.

Their arrest is the result of an investigation undertaken by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigations, which accelerated Nov. 10 when one of the men was arrested on an active warrant while possessing two precursors, or ingredients, used to make methamphetamine, an affidavit states.

That led police to a residence on the 700 block of Pearl Avenue, where officers found meth, ingredients used to cook meth, as well as text messages alluding to the production of meth among the two people charged — Timothy Ritter, 43, and William “Ian” Whipple, 52.

Ritter is facing two felony charges: conspiracy to produce methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance precursor. Each charge carries a maximum of 20 years in jail and a $25,000 fine, according to a court document filed Wednesday.

William Ian Whipple mug shot

William Whipple

Whipple, the owner and creative director of Floral Art on Scott Lane, faces the same charges as well as felony possession of more than three grams of methamphetamine, which carries a maximum 7-year sentence and a $15,000 fine.

At a Friday hearing, Teton County Circuit Court Judge James Radda set Ritter’s bail at $50,000 cash or surety. He set Whipple’s bail at $15,000, which Whipple said he couldn’t pay because his money has been seized.

Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Clay Kainer requested Ritter’s bail amount because of “the strength of the state’s case” along with Ritter’s flight concerns, namely his failure to appear twice per his criminal history. Kainer had asked for a $50,000 bail for Whipple, too, given “the strength of the state’s case.”

“Further, the state anticipates filing additional felony charges based on the subsequent investigation that occurred after the defendant’s arrest,” Kainer said during each of the defendants’ hearings.

Whipple said he would likely have to close his business because of his inability to post bail and return to work. His preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 27 at 11 a.m.

The charges stem from Ritter’s Nov. 10 arrest, during which a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper found ingredients used to make meth in Ritter’s car.

Timothy Jared Ritter mug shot

Ritter

After the Nov. 10 incident, the arresting officer requested a warrant to further search the vehicle.

With that search, officers found another precursor, PH strips used to test the acidic or basic nature of substances, two meth pipes and “a bottle of an unknown substance,” the affidavit states.

The DCI officers then interviewed Ritter, who told them that he received the precursors and PH strips in Colorado to manufacture meth in Teton County. He also told officers that he was living with Whipple, with whom he had a domestic incident the night before, the affidavit states.

After the interview, the officers went to the residence on Pearl Avenue, where Whipple told officers that Ritter had “distillates’’ in the garage and “white stuff in a coffee filter” in the bedroom, according to the affidavit.

Whipple then took the officers to the garage, where they found several substances used to produce meth, including muriatic acid, acetone, iodine, a digital scale and at least three grams of meth in a coffee filter.

Jackson Police Department Lt. Russ Ruschill said meth labs can be dangerous depending on their scale and cleanliness, among other things.

“If we’re talking in generalities, any time you have a clandestine laboratory, there is a potentially significant health hazard, certainly to the occupants of the building and potentially to anyone who is a neighbor,” he said.

That evening, still on Nov. 10, the officers requested a search warrant for the residence. The following day, Jackson Police Department officers and other law enforcement searched the house, finding additional meth-related materials.

They then searched Ritter’s home, finding messages between him and Whipple “consistent with the manufacturing, distribution and possession of Methamphetamine,” the affidavit states.

The warrant leading to Ritter’s arrest resulted from a June 6 incident at Floral Art, where he allegedly punched Whipple and kicked him until he was on the ground with his hands wrapped around his head, Ruschill said. Police couldn’t find Ritter and the case had gone cold until his Nov. 10 arrest, after which he bonded out of jail until his arrest Dec. 16.

Contact Alexander Shur at 732-7066 or courts@jhnewsandguide.com.

Alexander has reported on courts and crime since June 2021. A fan of all things outdoors, he came to Teton County after studying journalism at Northwestern University.

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(1) comment

Judd Grossman

Charming.

Welcome to the discussion.

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