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Cookie theft leads to felony charges for Laramie County jail inmates

(File photo; Trevor T. Trujillo, Cap City)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — An incident unfolded in the Laramie County Jail when two inmates, currently held on separate drug possession charges, allegedly orchestrated a robbery over a bag of cookies, resulting in additional felony charges.

Deputy Shaun Watkins, the shift supervisor, responded to a violent altercation in the jail’s E-Pod on April 30. Inmate Dakota Birch is accused of attacking fellow inmate Jack Ornelas in an attempt to seize a bag of cookies, leading to a scuffle that left Ornelas with a minor injury.

The affidavit revealed that Birch’s actions were part of a larger scheme directed by Inmate Brady Mitchell, who allegedly ordered the robbery as a form of payment for a previous drug transaction within the jail. The affidavit states the drug was prescription sleep medication.

Both inmates have picked up two new felony charges: Birch is charged with robbery and conspiracy, while Mitchell faces charges of accessory, aiding and abetting, as well as conspiracy.

Following their arrest, Mitchell and Birch made their initial court appearance on May 3. Each was given an additional $1,000 cash bond. Their preliminary hearings are scheduled for May 10.

The attack, captured on jailhouse video, shows Birch violently grabbing Ornelas by the shirt. Ornelas sustained a minor abrasion and described experiencing a “stinging pain” rated three out of 10 in intensity. Watkins noted that by May 2, the injury had scabbed over and largely healed, according to the affidavit.