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Onesalt sentenced to six years for drugs

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POLSON — A Polson man was sentenced at District Court in Polson on May 19 to a total of six years with the Montana Department of Corrections for violating conditions of parole by possessing drugs. Justin Duane Onesalt, 34, was also sentenced to 20 years with the Montana State Prison with 10 years suspended on one count of criminal possession with intent to distribute. Onesalt admitted to the charge during a court appearance March 3. Although the plea was entered without a sentence recommendation, the state dismissed two separate counts of the same.

According to court records, on Jan. 20, while Onesalt was on probation stemming from a negligent homicide conviction in 2005, and a probation search was conducted at Onesalt’s residence. Onesalt was located in a bathroom, resisted arrest, and brought under control after being subdued by a stun gun. The search turned up $3,318 in cash, 169 grams of methamphetamine, 12 grams of heroin, and 39 blue counterfeit fentanyl pills. The drugs and cash were in a green backpack that also contained a drug ledger, digital scale, and Onesalt’s identification card. Lake County Attorney elect James Lapotka said the drugs have an estimated street value of more than $20,000.

Onesalt was on probation from a negligent homicide conviction. In that matter, Onesalt was the driver of a vehicle that rolled on Moiese Valley Road June 4, 2005 that killed his brother Marcus Onesalt. Two other witnesses who survived the rollover told investigators that Onesalt was drinking alcohol and driving erratically prior to the rollover. Onesalt took a preliminary breath test after the crash that showed his blood alcohol content at .14. He was committed to the Montana Department of Corrections for 20 years with 15 years suspended in that matter. He had six years left on the suspended portion of that sentence.

Judge Karen Townsend presided over the case. Judge Townsend was pulled out of retirement to fill in for Judge Deborah “Kim” Christopher who is out for an undisclosed health matter.

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