A 41-year-old Belgrade man was charged with felony possession of dangerous drugs after officers stopped a car driven by the woman he had been court-ordered to avoid.

According to court records, on March 11 just before 7 p.m., a Bozeman police officer on routine patrol noticed a car stopped at a stoplight at the intersection of North 19th Avenue and Beall Street. The officer noticed the female driver was talking on her cell phone, a violation of Bozeman city ordinance. The officer conducted a traffic stop, recognized the driver and her male passenger from “previous law enforcement contacts,” and ran both their names through dispatch. Dispatchers said an active order of protection was in place between the parties, in which the man was required to stay 300 feet away from the woman.

The officer placed the man under arrest for violating the order, and asked the woman to identify any of the man’s personal effects in the car. She said a backpack on the passenger floorboard belonged to the man, after which the man “became defensive” and said the backpack was not his.

The man was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where officers searched the backpack and found two syringes containing a clear fluid. The fluid later tested presumptively positive for methamphetamine. The man was charged with possession of dangerous drugs, a felony, and violation of a protection order. He was held at the jail without bond.

•••

A Hamilton man was charged with his fourth DUI on Friday after a citizen reported him driving on Jackrabbit Lane with an open beer bottle in his hand and a child in his car.

According to court records, a Belgrade police officer responded to the report and noticed the identified vehicle, a white Nissan Titan, swerving within its lane of travel and crossing the white lane line. The officer stopped the truck as it pulled into the Flying J parking lot on Jackrabbit, and identified the driver as Jacob Daniel Downing, 37.

Both the first officer and a second who came to relieve him at shift change noticed the strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from the interior of the vehicle. The first officer noticed an open beer bottle and open Twisted Tea can in the cab of the pickup. A 9-year-old boy was sitting in the back seat.

Downing’s performance on field sobriety tests indicated he was impaired. He refused to provide a preliminary breath sample, so the officer applied for and was granted a search warrant for Downing’s blood. A search of Downing’s history revealed he had three prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol. He was transported to the hospital in Bozeman for the blood draw, then taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, fourth offense, a felony, and for child endangerment for operating a vehicle while under the influence with a child under the age of 14 in the car. He was held without bond.

•••

A 19-year-old Huntley man was charged with assault with a weapon for pointing a handgun at a driver on Interstate 90 between Belgrade and Bozeman on Sunday.

According to court records, a Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy responded to the report of a disturbance with a weapon that occurred in the eastbound lanes of I-90 at about 8 p.m. on March 15. The reporting party, identified in the report as the victim, told dispatchers an occupant of a black Mercedes had pointed the gun at him near mile marker 302. The deputy stopped the Mercedes near the intersection of South 11th Avenue and West Kagy Boulevard in Bozeman, and interviewed all five occupants at the Law and Justice Center after being frisked. No handguns were found during those searches.

The victim told the deputy he was driving to Bozeman from Belgrade, and the Mercedes was tailgating him. He attempted to change lanes, but the Mercedes changed lanes to prevent him from doing so. He said the Mercedes driver pulled up and drove alongside him, and when he looked over, he saw the front passenger pointing a handgun at him. He said, “I was on my brakes hard and had to drive semi-erratically to keep them in front of me in fear of them shooting out the side window.” He said he was a combat veteran with a child on the way, and felt he needed to get out of the field of fire.

The Mercedes driver refused to allow officers to search the Mercedes, so the deputy seized the car and applied for a search warrant. When questioning the Mercedes driver about the incident, he admitted he had sped up to the victim’s car, looked at him, and gave him the “middle finger.” He said his passenger in the front seat told him he had just “flashed a gun” at the victim, but that he hadn’t seen him take it out when they passed the other car.

A passenger from the rear of the Mercedes told the deputy she had seen the front passenger point a handgun at the victim as they passed.

The deputy interviewed the front passenger, who denied pointing a gun at the victim. He also denied having had a firearm in his possession at any point during the evening of March 15.

Based on the available evidence at witness accounts, the man was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where a loaded handgun magazine was found in his shoe during a search. He was charged with assault with a weapon and held without bond.

•••

A 38-year-old Billings man was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after breaking into his own vehicle to retrieve locked-in keys.

According to court records, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper noticed the man’s vehicle leave the Korner Klub parking lot and pull onto Jackrabbit Lane at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday. The vehicle’s headlights and taillights were not illuminated.

After stopping the driver, the trooper noticed the man’s eyes were watery and bloodshot, his speech was slow and slurred, and he smelled strongly of alcoholic beverage. He admitted he had consumed alcoholic beverages before driving, but refused to perform field sobriety tests or provide a preliminary breath sample. He told the trooper he broke into his own vehicle because he had locked the keys inside.

The man was taken to the hospital in Bozeman, where he agreed to provide a blood sample. He then was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was held on $685 bond.

•••

A 28-year-old Gallatin Gateway man was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after being pulled over 

for speeding on Highway 191 Sunday night.

According to court records, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper noticed the vehicle traveling southbound with no rear lights. A radar clocked the vehicle at 75 miles per hour in a 60 mph zone.

Upon approaching the driver, the trooper noticed the man had watery eyes, slurred speech, and reduced fine motor functions. He performed poorly on field sobriety tests, and refused to provide a preliminary breath test.

He was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was charged with speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol, first offense, and held on $750 bond.

•••

A one-vehicle crash on Jackrabbit Lane near Hulbert Road Monday afternoon resulted in the car’s driver being charged with his fourth DUI and a handful of lesser changes.

According to court documents, Montana Highway Patrol troopers responded to the report of the crash shortly after 4 p.m. on March 16. When they arrived, they saw that a Mercury Sable had gone off the right side of the road, striking a post and some trees. The occupants of the vehicle were “reported to be fighting after the crash,” the report states.

The four occupants gave a trooper different stories about who was driving, but two witnesses were able to describe the driver — Brian James Chocktoot, 47, of Billings — by his clothing. They said they saw him get out of the driver’s seat.

Chocktoot denied that he had been driving and he refused to cooperate with the investigation. The report states that he was staggering and had slurred speech, his eyes were bloodshot and watery, and his breath smelled strongly of alcoholic beverage. He refused to provide a blood sample when asked.

According to the report, there were multiple open alcoholic beverage containers in plain view inside the vehicle, and multiple seatbelts were not being used at the time of the crash.

A records checked revealed that Chocktoot had been convicted three times of DUI in Oregon and in Wyoming in 2008 and 2015.

A telephonic search warrant was obtained, and Chocktoot was taken to the hospital in Bozeman for a blood draw. He was then taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, fourth offense, a felony; driving with a suspended or revoked license; operating a motor vehicle without liability insurance in effect; and violating the state’s open container law.

•••

A Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy intending to enforce the “day use only” rule for the Cameron Bridge Fishing Access arrested a 44-year-old Bozeman man Tuesday night for felony DUI.

According to court records, the deputy noticed a red Toyota 4Runner enter the fishing access at about 9:30 p.m. on March 17 and followed it with the intention of notifying the driving of the fishing access laws. The driver of the 4Runner, Ryan K. McCoy, immediately lit a cigarette as the deputy started talking to him, and became agitated when asked for his identification. The deputy could smell the odor of alcoholic beverage coming from McCoy’s vehicle, and saw two six-packs of White Claw Hard Seltzer in the back of the 4Runner. He also noticed a loose can of White Claw on the passenger floorboard.

Upon observing that McCoy spoke in a “thick-tongued manner,” the deputy asked him to conduct field sobriety tests, which he was unable to do satisfactorily. When asked, McCoy admitted to consuming two alcoholic beverages at home, and admitted he didn’t feel safe to drive. McCoy provided a breath sample that measured his breath alcohol content at .133 percent.

McCoy was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where a second breath test measured his breath alcohol content at .119 percent. A check of McCoy’s criminal and driving history revealed prior convictions for driving under the influence in 1998, 2010 and 2016. He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, fourth offense, a felony, and held without bond.