During the last week of March 2022, a source of information, who has provided corroborated information, contacted a Missoula Police Department Officer concerning individuals involved in the distribution of cocaine.

The source of information stated that a male he knew as “Matt K” was involved in the distribution of cocaine and was informed by “Matt K” he utilizes a residence in Missoula to “cut” cocaine for distribution in Missoula and Kalispell.

The source indicated he observed “Matt K” sell cocaine within the proceeding days of providing the information in the downtown area. The source further stated “Matt K” commonly sells cocaine on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights in the downtown area.

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The source provided a Montana license plate and a phone number for “Matt K”. Over the course of the following weeks, officers discovered that the phone number and vehicle belonged to 20-year-old Matthew Kardan.

On April 15, 2022, the source provided information that Kardan would have cocaine on his person, inside his vehicle, at his residence, and would be downtown selling cocaine. An officer went to Kardan’s residence and observed his vehicle. At approximately 11:16 p.m., Kardan left his residence. A short time later, the officer initiated a traffic stop of Kardan’s vehicle. Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold picks up the story.

“An officer conducted a traffic stop after noticing a vehicle fail to adhere to several traffic laws,” Arnold said. “When the officer made contact, the driver, Matthew Kardan, appeared nervous to the officer. Based on the indicators the officer observed from driving behavior to the initial contact with Kardan, the officer requested Kardan go through the standardized field sobriety tests. Additional officers on scene had intel regarding drug activity involving Kardan.”

When stopped, Kardan was shaking uncontrollably and his voice was cracking. An officer was called to the scene to deploy his K9 to do a perimeter sniff of Kardan’s vehicle. The K9 is trained and certified to detect cocaine, heroin, MDMA, and methamphetamine.

“The K9 displayed a change of behavior near a portion of the vehicle,” Arnold said. “Officers applied for a search warrant and were granted a search warrant. Officers searched the vehicle. During the search, officers located drugs and other paraphernalia indicating distribution of the drugs. A search warrant was also applied for and granted for Kardan’s residence where additional drugs and paraphernalia were collected for evidence.”

Court documents indicate 3.5 grams of cocaine were located in Kardan’s vehicle. Officers knocked on the door to the residence and a male, identified as 21-year-old Nickolas Viera, opened the door was detained in handcuffs. Viera was read his Miranda rights and advised that all the marijuana and mushrooms belonged to him and that all the “Hard” drugs belonged to Kardan. Officers on scene seized a total of 405.3 grams of psilocybin mushrooms along with $9731.00 in cash found in Viera’s safe.

During a search of drawers belonging to Kardan, officers located $5,232 in cash, 35 molly pills, more cocaine, and a loaded Rugar 9MM handgun.

An officer informed Kardan they would be seizing his two cell phones as well. Kardan provided the passcodes and permission for the officer to look through the phones. The officer looked through several messages that indicated Kardan was buying and selling cocaine.

Kardan is currently being charged with criminal possession with intent to distribute, unlawful use/possession of property subject to criminal forfeiture, and two felony counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

Viera is currently being charged with criminal possession with intent to distribute and unlawful use/possession of property subject to criminal forfeiture.

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

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