from the District Court of Campbell County The Honorable John
R. Perry, Judge.
Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender:
Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Chief
Appellate Counsel; David E. Westling, Senior Assistant
Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney
General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General;
Christyne M. Martens, Senior Assistant Attorney General
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.
Nathaniel Vance Farnsworth appeals his felony conviction for
taking a controlled substance into a jail. For the reasons
set forth in Barrera v. State, 2017 WY 123, 403 P.3d
1025 (Wyo. 2017), and those set forth below, we affirm.
We restate the issues Farnsworth presents as follows:
1. Did the district court properly conclude that Farnsworth
violated Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-5-208 when he took a
controlled substance into the county jail after being
2. Did the district court or the State violate
Farnsworth's Fifth Amendment rights?
On January 16, 2016, a Campbell County deputy sheriff stopped
the vehicle Farnsworth was driving because a
"blinker" on the trailer he was pulling was not
working. The deputy discovered that Farnsworth had an
outstanding warrant for failure to appear, arrested him and
transported him to the Campbell County Detention Center. Upon
arrival, officers escorted Farnsworth into the facility and,
referring him to a sign posted on the door stating that it is
a felony to bring drugs or alcohol into the facility, asked
him whether he had any illegal substances on his person.
According to Deputy Sheriff Kristen Antle, Farnsworth's
response was to the effect of "no, I don't think so,
I don't know." As they passed a second sign stating
that it was a felony to bring a controlled substance into the
jail, Deputy Antle told Farnsworth that if he had drugs in
his possession and informed the officers then, he would not
be charged with a felony. According to Deputy Antle,
Farnsworth indicated "no I don't" and "I
don't think I have anything on me." The officers
escorted Farnsworth into the booking area. The detention
officer patted him down and found two plastic zip-lock
baggies containing a white powdery substance in
Farnsworth's pants pocket. The substance tested
presumptively positive as methamphetamine.
Deputy Antle arrested Farnsworth for taking a controlled
substance into the jail in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann.
§ 6-5-208 (LexisNexis 2017). That section provides in
pertinent part: "Except as authorized by a person in
charge, a person commits a felony . . . if that person takes
or passes any controlled substance or intoxicating liquor
into a jail[.]" Farnsworth filed a motion to dismiss the
charge, arguing that he did not voluntarily take a controlled
substance into the jail, and that while § 6-5-208 is a
general intent crime, its commission still requires a
voluntary act. He asserted that he told the officers he did
not know whether he had methamphetamine in his pocket and was
prevented from looking because he was handcuffed. He cited a
2011 decision letter in a case from Goshen County, Wyoming,
in which the district judge concluded on similar facts that
§ 6-5-208 prohibits only voluntarily taking a controlled
substance into a jail, not voluntarily possessing a
controlled substance. Finding that the defendant in that case
could not have acted voluntarily because he was under arrest,
the district court in that case granted his motion to dismiss
In its response to Farnsworth's motion, the State argued
that Farnsworth acted voluntarily when he took
methamphetamine into the jail, and asked the court to deny
the motion. After an evidentiary hearing, the district court
in this case denied the motion, finding that even though
Farnsworth's physical presence at the jail was not
voluntary, his act of concealing a controlled substance was.
In the meantime, the parties entered into a conditional plea
agreement, pursuant to which Farnsworth agreed to plead no
contest to the charge of taking a controlled substance into
the jail while reserving his right to seek review of any
adverse ruling on his motion to dismiss the felony charge.
The district court entered judgment against Farnsworth and
imposed a two to three-year sentence on the felony charge,
which it suspended in favor of three years of supervised
probation. Farnsworth appeals from the judgment.
When reviewing motions to dismiss, we defer to the district
court's findings of fact if they are not clearly
erroneous, and we review any conclusions of law de novo.
Hopson v. State, 2006 WY 32, ¶ 21, 130 P.3d
494, 500 (Wyo. 2006). Statutory interpretation is a question
of law, which we consider de novo. Bear Cloud v.
State, 2013 WY 18, ¶ 14, 294 P.3d 36, 40 (Wyo.
2013). Issues arising under the constitution are also
questions of law that we review de novo. Bush v.
State, 2008 WY 108, ¶ 48, 193 P.3d 203, 214 (Wyo.
Propriety of the district court's denial of the
motion to dismiss
Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-5-208 states in pertinent part that
"[e]xcept as authorized by a person in charge, a person
commits a felony . . . if that person takes or passes any
controlled substance or intoxicating liquor into a
jail[.]" Farnsworth contends that the statute requires
intent on the part of the offender to bring a controlled
substance into a jail. He argues that the statute is not
violated when a person possessing a controlled substance
without the intent to bring it into a jail is arrested and