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New year noise complaint leads to drug bust By TIMOTHY MITCHELL Staff Reporter
The new year began with a bust for the Hamilton City Police Department.
Officers responded to a noise complaint around 2 a.m. Jan. 1, and were called a second time soon after for the same problem to the same apartment. As they approached the front door, officers saw what they believed to be drugs being passed around inside.
Following procedure they obtained and executed a search warrant at the apartment located just south of the Ravalli County Courthouse on Second Street.
According to Hamilton Police detective Ryan Oster, during the search law enforcement officers discovered hallucinogenic mushrooms and arrested three people.
"It was pretty good heads-up police work by the officers involved," Oster said.
Hamilton officers George Borgen, Ken Schmitt, Pete Seymour and reserve officer Sheldon Turner, as well as Ravalli County Sheriff's deputy Travis McElderberry, were involved in the drug bust.
Arrested were Randall Clark and Bryon Dutton, both are believed to be from Hamilton.
Clark was charged with accountability for criminal distribution of dangerous drugs, criminal endangerment, both felonies, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor charge.
Court papers said that Clark, by allowing the co-defendant Dutton to attempt to sell drugs to the juvenile, he was endangering the child.
According to court records Clark told officers he and the child have an agreement that he will not interfere with choices regarding drugs.
Dutton was charged with criminal distribution of dangerous drugs, and criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
Also detained and later released to a family member was the 15 year-old. Charges have not been filed on the teen.
Oster said the investigation is ongoing into several aspects of the case.
A total amount of mushrooms confiscated has not been determined. According to Oster, in one bag they found over five grams of the hallucinogenic fungi.
Both Clark and Dutton made their initial appearance in Justice Court on Friday. The County Attorney's Office requested $50,000 bail, however Judge Jim Bailey set bail at $10,000 a piece.
Both suspects are expected to have their next court appearance in three weeks in Ravalli County District Court.