On the morning of Feb. 24, police officers and deputies across Park and Hot Springs counties received an alert: An armed, angry and suicidal man was heading from his home in Meeteetse to Thermopolis, …
On the morning of Feb. 24, police officers and deputies across Park and Hot Springs counties received an alert: An armed, angry and suicidal man was heading from his home in Meeteetse to Thermopolis, intent on getting his girlfriend back and ready to die.
Thermopolis police ultimately intercepted Jason A. Little, 43, before he reached his destination and took the ballistic vest-clad man into custody. In Little’s truck, authorities found two rifles, a shotgun, a pistol — all loaded — plus ammunition; in Little’s system, blood tests indicated the presence of both alcohol and methamphetamine.
Last month, Little received a 30-month federal prison sentence in connection with his actions, pleading guilty in Wyoming’s U.S. District Court to a felony count of being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of firearms.
At the time of the incident, Little had been working as an informant for the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, “providing DCI information regarding the trafficking of methamphetamine, by his associates, in northwest Wyoming,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Conder wrote in a filing.
But Little’s behavior reportedly became erratic in late February; he allegedly damaged property — including shooting the RV he’d been living in — and came to believe that DCI agents were keeping his girlfriend away from him.
Starting around 9:15 a.m. on Feb. 24 and continuing for the next couple of hours, Little made angry and suicidal statements in a series of phone calls and texts to a DCI agent.
In one message, Little said his life had become “a lie” and wished DCI had simply arrested him instead of using him as an informant.
“I am done,” he wrote in one text, adding, “I am ready to die and want my old life and my [crappy] girlfriend back before I am gone. I cant keep doing this and playing [these] games.”
“If I thought the drug [world] was evil it has nothing on what u guys do to someones life,” Little added to the DCI agent.
Eventually, Little left his camper in Meeteetse in his Ford pickup, heading for Thermopolis.
“Little indicated that police had better bring something bigger than a 30-06, because he was wearing body armor and … ‘was locked cocked and ready to rock,’ saying they ‘pissed off the wrong Marine today,’” Special Agent Jay Johnson with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) later wrote in a charging document.
In the meantime, the DCI agent had alerted law enforcement agencies in Park and Hot Springs counties about Little’s threats.
A Park County sheriff’s deputy was dispatched around 10:46 a.m., but didn’t find Little.
Thermopolis police were notified about 11:30 a.m., prompting Police Chief Julie Mathews to call out all of her available officers and ask the Washakie County SWAT team to stand by.
Little was spotted speeding into Thermopolis shortly before noon, wearing a ballistic vest. Little initially swerved around Mathews’ patrol vehicle to avoid arrest, but he ultimately pulled over and gave himself up.
While en route to Hot Springs County Memorial Hospital — where he would undergo a mental evaluation — Little reportedly told a Thermopolis police officer that “he just wanted [the police] to shoot him and that he was prepared,” Johnson wrote.
At the time of his arrest, police found a silencer, several boxes of ammunition and magazines and the four guns in Little’s truck: a Springfield Armory .308 caliber rifle, a Bushmaster .223 caliber rifle, a Mossberg 12 gauge pump action shotgun and a Kimber .45 caliber pistol. Each had rounds in their chambers, authorities say.
In his Aug. 23 judgment, U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson recommended that Little be allowed to participate in a residential drug abuse program while in prison. After serving his roughly 2 1/2 years behind bars, Little will be required to serve three years of supervised release. During that supervision, he’ll be subject to drug and alcohol testing, be required to obey the law and to complete a substance abuse, cognitive-behavioral and mental health treatment programs.
Little reportedly told authorities that he’d begun using meth in the mid-1990s, while serving in the U.S. military. He stopped around the year 2000, but began using again in March 2018, ingesting 1 or 2 grams every three to four days, charging documents say.
Among several other conditions of his supervised release, Little will also be prohibited from possessing any guns or dangerous weapons.
Judge Johnson’s order explains the prohibition as including “anything that was designed, or was modified for, the specific purpose of causing bodily injury or death to another person, such as nunchakus or tasers.”
The judge recommended that Little serve his 30 months at a minimum security federal prison camp in Yankton, South Dakota.