Libby man charged with drug, paraphernalia possession

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Michael Robert Long arraignment, Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. (Paul Sievers/The Western News)

A Libby man was arraigned Monday in Montana 19th Judicial District Court on one count of felony drug possession and two misdemeanor charge for possession of drug possession and paraphernalia.

Michael Long’s charges span over several years and several hundred miles, according to court documents.

He is charged with felony criminal possession of a dangerous drug with intent to sell, misdemeanor criminal possession of a dangerous drug, and misdemeanor criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.

Long plead not guilty to all three charges. Judge Matt Cuffe set his next court date for Friday, July 19.

Long’s lawyer, Jessica Polan, continued with the scheduled bond reduction hearing, calling Long’s long-time girlfriend to the stand to testify on Long’s behalf.

Paula Grainger took the stand and claimed she and Long have been a couple for ten years. When asked how they met, Grainger claimed she “chased him down in Walmart in North Carolina” to get his phone number.

Polan reminded Grainger of the two bonds that are currently in place for Long, both in the amount of $50,000 each, and then asked her if they would have any problems posting those bonds.

Grainger said they would have a problem posting the bonds. Polan then asked if she knew if Long would have any trouble finding a job should he be released.

“I’m not sure what he has, but I do have a job (for him) working with lumber,” said Grainger.

Assistant County Attorney, Jeffrey Zwang, questioned Grainger about her and Long’s history together and Long’s extensive criminal history in both Montana and North Carolina.

Zwang asked if Long had been arrested on a number of offenses in North Carolina, to which Grainger replied, “Yes.” He then asked if Long was on probation for a felony offense in Flathead County when she and Long came into contact with Libby police, and Grainger again replied, “Yes.”

After Grainger’s testimony, Long’s sister-in-law took the stand and explained to the court that Grainger and Long will be staying with her family should Long be released.

After hearing from both sides as to why or why not Long should be released on his own recognizance, Cuffe said he would take the information under advisement and release his decision at a later date.

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