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Warrant arrest leads officer to meth stash

by Luke Hollister Western News
| April 23, 2019 4:00 AM

A Lincoln County man was given a two-year deferred sentence in Montana 19th Judicial District Court Monday, in Libby, for charges related to possession of drugs.

Judge Matt Cuffe sentenced Dallas Clay Casazza to a two-year deferred imposition of sentence for the charge of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, a felony. Casazza is required by law to follow a set of probation conditions.

Cuffe said one of the primary reasons for following the state’s sentencing recommendations is because Casazza has admirably stepped up, gone to treatment and acknowledged there was an issue.

Clint Heintz, a Eureka police officer, arrested Casazza, who already had a warrant, on March 12, 2018, for possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.

According to Heintz’s affidavit, Lincoln County had his bond set at $10,000. Heintz knew Casazza from prior contact with him.

Heintz saw Casazza’s vehicle parked at a “known drug house,” and ran a check for warrants on him. He found an active Lincoln County warrant for Casazza.

When Casazza departed the residence, Heintz pulled him over and arrested him.

Heintz searched Casazza and found two baggies containing a “crystal substance” in Casazza’s pocket, according to the affidavit. Heintz stated that he recognized the substance inside as methamphetamine.

The substance later tested positive as methamphetamine, according to the affidavit. Cassaza told Heintz the baggies contained methamphetamine “a long time ago.”

Heintz stated that Casazza denied on the scene knowing who the baggies belonged to, but that he later admitted that they were his.

Casazza’s mother told the police department her son has only used meth for about two years, and that she would like to see him get an evaluation at the Montana State hospital in Warm Springs.

On the scene of the arrest, Casazza said he did not consent to a car search, according to the affidavit. Heintz requested a search dog to sniff the car.

The dog alerted to the driver’s door of the car, which indicated “the odor of a narcotic or concealed human,” according to the affidavit. Police searched Casazza’s car the next day and did not find anything.

Casazza pleaded guilty for possession of dangerous drugs in a March 11 plea agreement with the Lincoln County Attorney’s Office.