Prosecutors: Prison guard made $6,500 selling inmates drugs
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Prosecutors say a guard at Montana State Prison made up to $6,500 selling drugs and tobacco to inmates.
Martin Reap plans to plead guilty to a charge of accepting bribes. His change-of-plea hearing is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Helena.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Thaggard wrote in a court filing ahead of the hearing that inmates asked Reap to bring them tobacco in 2014.
Thaggard says Reap told an FBI agent that he later smuggled between nine and 16 ounces of marijuana and a small amount of synthetic marijuana into the prison.
The document says associates of the inmates mailed between $100 to $150 to Reap’s home each time he brought in tobacco and drugs, ultimately taking between $6,300 and $6,500.
Burned woman on Crow Indian Reservation identified
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The family of a woman who was found severely burned on the Crow Indian Reservation two months ago has identified the victim.
The Billings Gazette reports that the family identified the woman Tuesday in a news release as 28-year-old Roylynn Rides Horse. The release says she has been in a Salt Lake City burn center and seeks donations to help in her recovery.
The woman was found on April 17 in a field near the border between Northern Cheyenne and Crow reservations with burns over most of her body. Crow Sen. Shawn Real Bird says doctors told the woman’s family she had walked about 3 miles before collapsing.
The FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs have declined to comment on the case, citing an ongoing investigation.
Montana governor named new head of western governors group
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has been named the new chairman of the Western Governors’ Association.
Bullock previously was the group’s vice chair. He was elevated to the chairmanship Tuesday, the final day of the group’s meeting in Jackson, Wyoming.
The Montana Democrat succeeds Wyoming’s Republican governor, Matt Mead, in leading the association of governors from 19 Western states and three U.S. territories.
Bullock says his “chairman’s initiative” will be improving forest and rangeland management. His term with the association is one year, assuming he is re-elected as governor in November.
The association is dominated by Republicans but attempts to address regional issues through bipartisanship.
That bipartisanship was on display Tuesday when some Republican governors showered Bullock with praise. Mead, for example, said Bullock “embodies the bipartisan spirit of the Western Governors’ Association.”
18 charged in Flathead High School vandalism case
KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Charges have been filed against 18 recent Flathead High School graduates for their alleged involvement in a senior prank, which caused thousands of dollars in damage at the school.
The Daily Inter Lake reports the group, all over the age of 18, has been charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief and trespass in connection with the May 10 vandalism. Assistant City Attorney Emily Von Jentzen says potential charges are still pending against three individuals.
The suspects broke into the school and caused an estimated $4,000 in damage. They destroyed vending machines, ripped drinking fountains from the walls and damaged a 7-foot statue of a moose.
Those involved were barred from attending the schools’ June 4 graduation ceremony.
Von Jentzen says they’ll have an opportunity to dispute the charges in court.
Grizzly bear captured, relocated after killing 2 alpacas
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A 270-pound grizzly bear was captured and relocated after killing two alpacas on a ranch just north of Simms.
Fish, Wildlife and Parks grizzly bear management specialist Mike Madel says a llama that was in the pen with the alpacas on Saturday escaped by jumping the fence.
The Great Falls Tribune reports the young male grizzly bear was captured Sunday, fitted with a radio collar and moved 82 air miles away to the Puzzle Creek area in the Flathead National Forest.
The grizzly was the fourth relocated by state wildlife officials on the Marias, Teton and Sun Rivers this spring.
A female relocated for killing chickens on a ranch near Choteau has already returned to the area. Madel says an electric fence was installed around the chicken coop and the bear moved on.
Deer protecting fawns kill 2 dogs in Helena
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Deer that were protecting newborn fawns have killed two dogs in Helena, prompting the city and state wildlife officials to remind residents to keep their animals under control and abide by the leash laws.
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Warden Sgt. Dave Loewen tells the Independent Record that the does are stashing their fawns and if a dog starts barking, the doe sees it as a threat.
The dogs that were killed were smaller breeds. In both cases, Loewen says the owners understood that the does were protecting their young. The deer will not be removed.
Helena’s urban mule deer give birth in June, and some have twins and triplets.
Loewen says FWP received a report Tuesday of someone picking up a fawn believing it was abandoned. He reminds residents not to handle fawns.