On April 18, 2022, a Missoula Police Department Officer was patrolling near the Campus Inn when he observed a vehicle occupied by two individuals. The vehicle did not have a front license plate as required by Montana law. The vehicle left the parking lot and got in line at McDonalds.

The officer responded to another call, but returned later and observed the same vehicle now parked in front of a fast food restaurant. The vehicle exited the parking lot and drove onto Madison Street where it stopped past the stop lines at an intersection. The officer stopped the vehicle for stopping past the stop lines at a stop sign and not having a front license plate. Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold explains.

“An officer conducted a traffic stop after observing several traffic violations and equipment violations,” Arnold said. “When the officer contacted the driver, Dylan Saunders, Saunders did behaviors that indicated to the officer that he was nervous about police presence. During the contact, the officer became aware that Saunders was on probation for prior dangerous drug related charges.”

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Court documents indicate Saunders was nervous, shaking, and taking long drags from a cigarette. There were several boxes and butane torches on the back seat of the vehicle consistent with storing and using narcotics. The officer contacted the on call probation officer who asked that they search Saunders’ vehicle.

“A probation search was conducted and officers located a substance that tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine and presumptive positive fentanyl pills,” Arnold said. “Saunders was taken into custody and transported to the Missoula County Detention Center on felony drug charges and a probation charge.”

Inside the vehicle, officers found paraphernalia including a snorting tube and tin foil often used to cook or heat drugs. The methamphetamine and fentanyl were found in Saunders’ wallet. He is currently being charged with two counts of felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.

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