A fugitive on Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office most wanted list has been captured in Montana. Sheriff Mike Lowell said that Hayden Anthony Riggs, age 18, formerly of Green River, is wanted by Sweetwater County authorities for probation revocation on original charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping and conspiracy to commit felony theft.
According to court documents, in November of 2015, Green River Police Department officers were dispatched to the Sweetwater Youth Crisis Center in response to an alleged assault. Upon arrival, officers discovered one of the youth home’s employees was tied-up, with electrical cord around her wrists, a belt around her ankles, and a sheet affixed around her throat and head. After freeing the woman, she told authorities that she was doing bed-checks at the facility, and that, when she went into Riggs’ room, he and his roommate ambushed her and put something over her head.
The woman couldn’t remember anything after that, and she was later treated at a hospital for injuries to her throat as a result of the attack. During subsequent interviews, including that with an independent eyewitness to the assault, officers learned Riggs and his roommate had pre-planned the attack on the staff member, in an effort to steal a car and escape the youth home.
In March of 2016, Riggs, who was still a juvenile at the time of the assault, was formally charged as an adult in Sweetwater County District Court for kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, aggravated assault and battery, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and battery, felony theft, conspiracy to commit felony theft, aggravated robbery, and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.
In May of 2016, Riggs pled guilty and was convicted of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and conspiracy to commit felony theft. On the kidnapping charge, Riggs was sentenced to 20 to 25 years in prison, his prison time was suspended, and he was placed on 10 years of supervised probation to run consecutive to the theft charge. On the theft charge, Riggs was sentenced to three to five years in prison, and he was sent to boot camp at the Department of Corrections Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp.
In April of 2017, after successfully completing boot camp, Riggs was released from the Conservation Camp on five years of supervised probation with three to five years in prison re-suspended.
Until August of 2017, Riggs resided at the Milestones Youth Home and worked at a local restaurant in Sheridan, WY. But, according to a police report, on Thursday, August 17, 2017, Sheridan Police Department officers responded to the youth home in response to a report of a missing probationer.
Upon arrival, officers determined Riggs and one of his roommates left the facility, and discovered Riggs left behind his mobile phone, which had been factory-reset, as well as his court-mandated GPS ankle monitor. During subsequent interviews, officers learned Riggs pre-planned the escape to coincide with his eighteenth 18th birthday.
Earlier this month, upon learning that Riggs absconded probation, detectives assigned to the Sheriff’s Narcotics and Arrest Group (SNAAG), a specialized unit of county detectives dedicated to drug enforcement and fugitive apprehension cases, picked up the case in an effort to locate Riggs on his warrant, developing information and tracking Riggs to the area of Glendive, Montana.
Late Monday evening, in coordination with Montana law enforcement, Riggs was arrested without incident by officers from Glendive Police Department.
Since its inception in March of 2015, under Sheriff Lowell’s administration, SNAAG detectives have facilitated the apprehension of over 20 fugitives from across 8 different states including Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Montana, and, as far away as, Kentucky, Florida, and Alaska.
Riggs remains in custody in Montana on a $100,000 cash or surety bond, awaiting extradition proceedings.
Sheriff Lowell credited a cooperative effort by Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, and Glendive Police Department in effecting Riggs’ arrest, and expressed his thanks for the community’s continued support.