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Great Falls man sentenced for drug possession,endangerment

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POLSON — A Great Falls man who led law enforcement from two counties on a high-speed chase on U.S. Highway 93 after he escaped from a Montana Department of Corrections program admitted to the charges related to the incident.

Joseph Patrick Thomas Brown, 36, pled guilty at District Court in Polson on Sept. 23 to criminal possession with intent to distribute and criminal endangerment, felonies.

According to court records, on March 20, authorities in Lake County were notified of a “road rage” incident on U.S. Highway 93 just north of Ravalli near mile marker 29. It appeared that one motorist sideswiped another motorist and continued north without stopping. That was at about 11:29 on a Saturday night. Sgt. Cory White with Ronan Police intercepted the suspect vehicle and pursued it northbound. The chase proceeded north through Polson into Lakeside where deputies with the Flathead County Sheriff’s office were able to disable Brown’s vehicle with spike strips at about 12:15 a.m. March 21. A search of the vehicle Brown was driving turned up four baggies of methamphetamine, each weighing 4.6 grams, and a digital scale.

Judge Robert J. Whelan of Butte presided over the case via the Zoom platform and committed Brown to the Montana Department of Corrections for a total of 12 years with all but 186 days jail time already served suspended. The sentence is to run consecutive to any other terms Brown is facing.

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