A Bozeman driver whose bogus vehicle plates and unsafe driving caught the attention of a Montana Highway Patrol trooper on Huffine Lane last week was charged with felony possession of dangerous drugs after the trooper found suspected methamphetamine in his car, according to court reports.

Official documents state that the 29-year-old was driving a 2002 Volvo westbound on Huffine just before 5 p.m. on July 17, when the trooper noticed it was sporting a Montana demonstrator plate, though there was no buy-sell agreement or label displayed on the vehicle. The officer also noted that the car’s windshield was cracked within the driver’s field of vision, and that the car was following other vehicles too closely, all in violation of state law.

After being pulled over, the driver agreed to a pat down search, voluntarily turned over a small amount of marijuana to the officer, and revealed that the demonstrator plate was not supposed to be on the Volvo and that the vehicle’s registration had expired. He was unable to produce current proof of insurance.

The report states that the driver granted permission for the vehicle to be searched, and the trooper found a digital scale with white residue on the weighing pan and a glass methamphetamine pipe in the car. The residue on the scale tested presumptively positive for methamphetamine.

In addition to the felony charge for possession of methamphetamine, the man also was charged with a misdemeanor count of dangerous drug possession for the marijuana, failure to carry proof of insurance in the vehicle, and operating a vehicle with expired registration. He was booked into the Gallatin Detention Center.


A 45-year-old Belgrade man facing charges for partner-family member assault was booked into the Gallatin County Detention Center last Thursday after reportedly threatening to burn down the house where his wife was staying in violation of an order of protection.

According to court documents, a witness testified that a friend of the husband had told him that the man was planning to go to the home where his wife was staying, shoot everyone inside, and then burn down the house. Based on that information, both the wife and her roommate chose to vacate the premises and stay somewhere else out of fear for their safety.

A Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy interviewed the friend to whom the husband had made the comments, but that person was reluctant to divulge details, saying he didn’t want to “incriminate my friend.” However, he warned the deputy that “it’s a very bad situation,” and that “It could get really bad.”

The deputy then located the husband at a Belgrade gas station. The man denied making any statements about killing anyone or burning down the house, but said that perhaps he had made a statement that had been “misunderstood” or taken out of the context.

The man was charged with violating the order of protection and held without bond pending appearance before a judge.


A Billings man was arrested Saturday for strangling his girlfriend of two months during an argument in Manhattan.

The couple were in a verbal argument after attending a wedding together earlier in the day, according to court papers. On their way home, the woman said, her 28-year-old boyfriend drove to the Thriftway on South Broadway to leave her there. The woman stated that she was making a phone call while she was getting out of her boyfriend’s truck, and he tried to take the phone from her while putting his hand around her throat. She indicated that she had experienced some trouble breathing during the incident, and a responding Manhattan police officer noticed redness around the base and left side of the woman’s neck, according to court documents.

The woman said her boyfriend had fled the scene, and was traveling westbound on I-90. He was apprehended by a Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy. During questioning, the man admitted that he had left the woman at the Thriftway, but he denied assaulting her.

The man was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was charged with strangulation of a partner or family member and held without bond.


A Belgrade man with a prior conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol was charged with a second DUI on Sunday after failing to stop at a stop sign in downtown Belgrade.

A Montana Highway Patrol trooper noticed that the 29-year-old driver did not stop at an intersection just after 3 a.m. Sunday, then “failed to maintain his lane of travel” after making a left turn, according to court papers. The report states that it took about 10 seconds for the driver to respond to the trooper’s emergency lights, and that the driver had difficulty keeping his attention on the officer while he was being questioned.

The man proceeded to perform poorly on field sobriety tests, and a preliminary breath test at the scene measured his blood alcohol content as .271 percent. He was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center and charged with aggravated DUI, second offense.


Despite both parties having difficulty remembering certain details of the incident, a 34-year-old Bozeman man was charged Monday evening with partner family member assault for causing his wife to believe he was going to harm her.

According to court documents, Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputies interviewed both parties at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, where the wife was sitting in a vehicle in the parking lot and her husband was sitting on a bench outside the hospital. The woman said her husband had choked her on Sunday afternoon in the vicinity of Camp Creek Road and Vincent in Manhattan. Neither deputy noticed any marks on the woman’s neck, but she said she had been scared. When asked whether she had any trouble breathing during the incident or if blood flow had been restricted, she told a deputy that she couldn’t remember because she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from a previous abusive relationship, and that when things like this happen she can’t remember the details.

A deputy then asked the woman’s husband for his account of the incident. Court documents state that he said he and his wife had been arguing on Sunday afternoon over a work relationship with the woman’s stepfather, which caused him to have a panic attack. He said that during the argument, his wife walked away from him and he followed 

her to her truck, where they continued to argue. The man said his wife got into her truck, acting as if she were going to leave the scene, at which point the man said he “blacked out,” and “I guessed when I jumped in the truck I grabbed her neck,” though he added that he didn’t remember doing so.

The man was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was charged with partner family member assault for causing reasonable apprehension of injury to his wife. He was held without bond.


As she was being charged with driving under the influence and booked into the Gallatin County Detention Center, a woman from Calgary, Alberta, who was driving eastbound in the westbound lanes of Interstate 90 shortly before 12:30 Wednesday morning admitted to drinking six glasses of wine before and during a concert earlier in the evening.

According to court documents, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper spotted and stopped the woman’s car after being alerted by dispatchers of a wrong-way driver in the vicinity. The trooper noted that the driver appeared tired and confused, that her eyes were bloodshot and glassy, and that she smelled strongly of alcohol. The woman also admitted to the officer that she had been drinking.

The woman was unable to complete field sobriety tests, and she provided a breath sample that measured her blood alcohol content as .144 percent.

She was taken to the jail, where she thanked the trooper as she provided a second breath sample that measured .122. After being advised of her Miranda rights, the woman the volunteered information about where and how much wine she had consumed that evening.