Troy manhunt suspect arraigned

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Eugene Thomas Germain arraignment, Monday, June 3, 2019. (Paul Sievers/The Western News)

The Polson man who led local law enforcement on an eight-hour manhunt May 21 was arraigned in Montana 19th Judicial District Court Monday.

Eugene Thomas Germain, 25, was initially charged with seven counts, including two counts of felony burglary — one for each of two residences he entered on Lake Creek Road near Troy — and felony aggravated burglary for entering a third “occupied structure” on Lake Creek Road while armed.

He also faces a felony charge for the theft of the Ford F150 truck he was driving when first spotted by law enforcement west of Troy, and three misdemeanor theft charges related to stolen items that included a bottle of tequila, a firearm a hunting pack containing a firearm and other personal property.

According to the affidavit by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Detective David Hall, Germain was identified by Sanders County, Idaho, law enforcement as a suspect in the theft of the F150 and multiple other vehicles, as well as multiple burglaries in Montana.

Germain first evaded law enforcement near Troy at 10:31 a.m., then ran through a gate in the 2000 block of Lake Creek Road, around 10:43 a.m., according to Hall’s affidavit. Shortly after 5 p.m., a resident returning home in the 2200 block of Lake Creek Road reported their home broken into and a missing .44 caliber handgun.

Law enforcement cleared the residence and a neighbor’s residence, locating Germain at 6:15 p.m. in a cabin that belonged to a neighbor, according to the affidavit.

Germain was found with the handgun — which was loaded — the hunting pack with another handgun and search and rescue equipment, according to the affidavit. He also had items from the second residence on Lake Creek Road, a key to the F150, wallets belonging to theft victims from Sanders County, and a driver’s license and credit cards belonging to a Bonners Ferry resident.

In a taped interview with Hall, Germain admitted to the theft of two vehicles from Lake County, one from Flathead County, and two more from Sanders County.

During the manhunt for Germain, law enforcement set up a roving perimeter, which Lincoln County Undersheriff Brian Griffeth said appeared to have been very effective in containing the suspect.

“Once he kind of hunkered down, he stayed put,” Griffeth said.

Griffeth said that Troy Police were requested by the Sheriff’s Office to assist on Lake Creek Road. Montana Fish and Game also provided assistance.

During the search, requests were made for dogs as well as for assistance from Two Bear Air, but no dogs or air support were available.

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