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Kelso pleads not guilty to distribution charge

| May 1, 2020 8:33 AM

A Troy man has pleaded not guilty to a drug distribution charge after authorities allegedly arrested him with methamphetamine and other narcotics in mid-March.

Jason Dale Kelso, 45, faces criminal possession of drugs with intent to distribute and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia charges in Lincoln County District Court following the raid at his Missoula Avenue home March 13. He pleaded not guilty March 30.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Kelso in conjunction with probation and parole during a home check. About 3:52 p.m., Deputy Brandon Holzer and Probation Officer Steve Watson spoke with Kelso, who admitted using methamphetamine, according to court documents.

Following the alleged admission, Watson authorized a search of the home. Court documents said that the K9 unit brought in for the inspection led authorities to a back bedroom where Kelso and his girlfriend slept.

Investigators found two boxes containing scales and “hundreds of empty baggies,” Holzer wrote in an affidavit. They also collected roughly five grams of methamphetamine, a bottle of marijuana and lorazepam, which is better known as Ativan, court documents said.

“I know from my training and experience as a narcotics detective that prepackaged methamphetamine and scheduled narcotic pills in these kits are consistent with drug sales,” Holzer wrote in the affidavit.

Kelso was arrested and held on a $10,000 bond. The felony intent to distribute charge carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years and fine of $50,000. The possession of drug paraphernalia charge is a misdemeanor.

An omnibus hearing is scheduled for May 18.