“Town Crier” newsletter – Briefs from the Region (1) – 3/18/20
On Feb. 11, Nicholas James Imhoff was traveling through Montana, near Columbus, in a minivan he rented in Las Vegas. At a routine traffic stop, a Montana State Trooper found the details of Imhoff’s alleged trek to North Dakota inconsistent and that he was acting nervously, just before a K-9 unit alerted the trooper to drugs in the vehicle. The minivan was seized, a search warrant was obtained, and some 78 pounds of meth—the largest ever seized in a traffic stop in Montana—were discovered wrapped in garbage backs and duct tape beneath the floor storage compartments; the haul constituted more than the entire year’s worth in 2017, shattering the previous record of 27 pounds. The discovery has confirmed fears of state and federal law enforcement, reports The Billings Gazette, that a steady flow of cheap and high-potency methamphetamine continues to enter the states as a result of Mexican drug cartel activity; such activity has been linked to rises in robberies, murders and assaults in several parts of the state. On March 16, Imhoff was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, to which he plead not guilty. He is detained pending further proceedings.