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Libby man accused of dealing Suboxone

Daily Inter Lake | September 28, 2021 7:00 AM

A Libby man brought up on charges after allegedly selling drugs to an informant has pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs.

Adam Gean Hartsock, 30, entered the plea during his Sept. 20 arraignment in Lincoln County District Court. Criminal distribution of dangerous drugs, a felony, carries a maximum penalty of 25 years with the Montana State Prison and a $50,000 fine.

Hartsock’s alleged dealings came to the attention of detectives with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office in late May, according to court documents. In an affidavit, Detective Dan Holskey wrote that an informant told him that Hartsock was selling Suboxone for $10 per unit.

Suboxone is often used for medication-assisted intervention to treat opiate addiction. A mix of buprenorphine and naloxone, the drug has grown popular in addiction treatment during the opioid epidemic, according to Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Blog.

But, because it is an opiate, it can be abused — though it does not deliver the same euphoria as heroin, wrote Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care physician in Boston and staff member at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Holskey, working with Detective Brandon Holzer, met with the informant about 4:04 p.m., May 25. After putting a wire on the individual, they handed over $40 for a controlled buy. A few minutes later, the informant returned with four units of Suboxone, court documents said.

In the affidavit, Holskey wrote that the wire picked up the exchange of cash for drugs.

Three days later, the informant contacted Holskey again. Hartsock had been back in touch and allegedly offered more Suboxone, this time 10 units at the same price.

Holskey wrote that he arranged a meeting with the informant, this time bringing Deputy Brent Faulkner. Once again, they searched the informant’s person and vehicle for drugs or money. Then they put the wire back on the individual and sent them out with $100.

Returning to the investigators about 1:58 p.m., the informant turned over 10 units of Suboxone, court documents said.

The second transaction also was picked up by the recording device placed on the informant, Holskey wrote.

A unit of the Suboxone was sent to the state crime lab for testing, where it came back positive for buprenorphine and naloxone, court documents said. Following the confirmation, Holskey wrote that he forwarded the case to the Lincoln County Attorney’s Office.

County Attorney Marcia Boris signed a warrant for Hartsock’s arrest Aug. 24. He initially was held on a $25,000 bond.