Troy man gets prison time for meth possession

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Jeremiah Richard Gardner sentencing, Monday, June 10, 2019. (Paul Sievers/The Western News.

A Troy resident was given a five-year sentence with two years suspended in Montana’s 19th Judicial District Court, June 10, in Libby, for charges related to drug possession.

Judge Matt Cuffe sentenced Jeremiah Richard Gardner to a five year sentence with two years suspended for criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

In his plea deal, Gardner pleaded guilty to one count of drug possession. The court then dismissed charges for criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal possession of drugs with intent to distribute and a second count of drug possession.

Gardner’s initial plea agreement was for five years suspended with credit for his time served in jail. But, after violating his probation while being released on his own recognizance, Cuffe sentenced Gardner to the five year sentence with only two suspended.

The county revoked Gardner’s release for the alleged violations of using methamphetamine, not notifying pretrial supervision officer of address changes and having contact with co-defendants.

According to the Lincoln County Probation Department’s report, Gardner left one message after he was released from jail and never checked back in, something he was required to do daily. Vanessa Williamson, Gardner’s probation officer, also noted that when she attempted to visit Gardner’s residence on Yaak Avenue, she was informed that Gardner had not lived there since he was released from jail.

The report labels Gardner’s current address as “homeless.” “I was never provided with a current address,” wrote Williamson.

According to the case affidavit’s police report, officers arrested Gardner after searching his place on East Yaak Avenue in Troy on December 10.

The Troy Police Department and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, in a cooperative effort to stop drug trafficking, led the search, according to the report. They found methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, as well as a digital scale and plastic baggies.

Officers also searched an East Spokane Avenue residence, finding Gardner upstairs near methamphetamine, syringes, pipes and firearms in plain sight, according to the report. Officers conducted the raids under search warrants for the residences authorizing a search for drugs, paraphernalia, guns “and other evidence for the crimes of possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia.”

Additional reporting by Benjamin Kibbey

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