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Garza sentenced to five years

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POLSON — A Washington state man was committed at District Court in Polson on Sept. 7 to five years with the Montana Department of Corrections, with none of that time suspended, for dealing drugs in Lake County.

Luis Alfredo Garza, 35, entered a plea of guilty at District Court in Polson to criminal possession with intent to distribute on July 20 before Judge Molly Owen. The plea was entered as part of a plea agreement that came with a joint recommendation of the five-year commitment with no time suspended.

According to court records, on April 30, Ronan Police Officer Jonathan Gilliland observed a suspicious vehicle. The license plate on the vehicle did not match any vehicle, prompting a traffic stop. The driver allegedly lied about his identity. He had no registration nor proof of insurance. The driver said he was from Texas and had recently purchased the vehicle. The driver consented to emptying his pockets after advising Officer Gilliland that he had a screwdriver in his sweatshirt. The officer located a suspected meth pipe during a pat down. After being placed under arrest, Officer Gilliland was able to determine that the suspect he arrested was Garza. The vehicle Garza was driving was seized and Officer Gilliland obtained a search warrant for the vehicle. The subsequent search turned up a green backpack. Inside the backpack, Officer Gilliland located 180 grams of methamphetamine, a digital scale, and electronic devices. A review of the electronic devices revealed information pertaining to Garza.

Judge Owen gave Garza credit for having already served 131 days in the Lake County jail.

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