Guard accused of smuggling drugs into Montana State Prison
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana State Prison guard has been accused smuggling methamphetamine and marijuana into the prison in exchange for cash.
A federal grand jury indicted Martin Reap on conspiracy, drug possession, drug distribution and bribery charges earlier this month. Reap pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Thursday in Missoula.
The indictment alleges that Reap conspired with unnamed inmates to smuggle the drugs into the Deer Lodge prison for distribution to other inmates between February 2015 and last month. In return, Reap allegedly received more than $5,000 from others who participated in the drug-smuggling conspiracy.
Federal Public Defender Michael Donahoe, Reap’s attorney, was traveling and did not immediately return a call or email request for comment. Reap does not have a home phone listing.
Montana Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sandy Jacke declined to comment.
Drought concerns persist in parts of Montana
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A wet and cooler spring has eased drought concerns over parts of western Montana, but severe drought conditions remain along the Rocky Mountain Front after two straight winters of lower snowfall and warmer temperatures.
The recent spate of warm temperatures triggered an early snow melt that could mean lower flows in some rivers and streams through the summer, if May and June rains fall below normal.
The governor’s Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee, which convened on Thursday at the Capitol, continues to monitor the situation. It is currently making a county-by-county assessment of drought risks.
Weather and water supply experts say summer drought conditions will depend on how much rain the region gets over the next two months, which are usually two of the year’s wettest.
Convicted killer Frank Dryman denied parole for 1951 murder
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A man who skipped out on parole after being released early from a life sentence for a 1951 murder conviction and was returned to custody in 2010 has been denied release for the second year in a row.
The Great Falls Tribune reports that the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole denied Frank Dryman’s request for release Thursday. The 85-year-old, who is on oxygen and has other health conditions, had asked to be moved to an assisted living facility for U.S. veterans.
Dryman was given a life sentence after being found guilty in the shooting death of Clarence Pellett near Shelby 65 years ago.
He was paroled in 1969 and moved to California before disappearing in 1971.
Dryman was discovered in Arizona after 38 years on the run.
Billings appearances by Bill Clinton, Trump scheduled
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Details on the Billings campaign appearances on behalf of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been released.
Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to speak at Will James Middle School at 7:30 p.m. Friday on behalf of his wife’s campaign.
Trump’s campaign announced the presumptive Republican nominee will hold a rally on Thursday, May 26 at 4 p.m. at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders held rallies in Missoula and Billings last week as he continues to campaign for the Democratic nomination.
Montana’s primary election will be held on June 7. The state has 27 Democratic and 27 Republican delegates at stake.
Boy hunting black bears kills 500-pound grizzly in E. Idaho
ISLAND PARK, Idaho (AP) — Authorities say a 15-year-old boy hunting black bears with his father mistakenly shot and killed a 500-pound male grizzly bear in eastern Idaho.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says the father and son from California later that evening on May 5 returned to their family cabin and realized it was a grizzly bear.
Authorities say that the next morning they contacted Idaho Fish and Game to report what happened.
Fish and Game officials in a news release Thursday say the juvenile has been issued a warning and the father a citation for the taking and possessing a protected species.
A court date is set for June 1.
Officials say the carcass of the 9-year-old grizzly bear has been confiscated.
Oil company asks judge to toss criminal charges over spill
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Attorneys for an oil company say the company should not have been criminally charged for an accidental oil spill that its employees took immediate steps to fix when it was discovered.
Last month, FX Drilling Co. and field supervisor Quay Geza Torok pleaded not guilty to charges of negligent discharge of oil into waters of the United States and failure to immediately notify federal authorities.
Federal prosecutors say the company and Torok failed to clean up the spill after they discovered the leak in June 2011 in an oil field on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
On Wednesday, attorneys for the company and Torok asked a federal judge to dismiss the charges. They say failing to remove oil is not a crime under the federal Clean Water Act.