HAMILTON – Former University of Montana Grizzlies quarterback Jason Washington, sentenced last week in Missoula in a federal drug case, now faces felony drug charges in Ravalli County.
The Ravalli County Attorney’s Office on Tuesday accused Washington, who operated a medical marijuana dispensary in Hamilton, of providing an employee with marijuana and cannabis products even though the employee didn’t have a medical marijuana card.
Washington is charged with criminal distribution of dangerous drugs and accountability for criminal possession of dangerous drugs with the intent to distribute. Last week’s federal sentencing cleared the way for Ravalli County to file those charges, according to the county attorney’s office.
A federal court jury in January convicted Washington of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen sentenced him last week to two years in prison.
The federal charges stemmed from raids in November 2011 on Washington’s Missoula County businesses – a large marijuana grow operation at the Wye, the Big Sky Health medical cannabis dispensary on Reserve Street and his 406 Motoring automotive shop.
The Ravalli County case concerns Washington’s dealings with Bradley Bjorkland, an employee at Big Sky Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Hamilton. Bjorkland was questioned in November 2011 by a Ravalli County sheriff’s detective who was investigating another case at the dispensary that day, according to court records.
Bjorkland had 7 ounces of marijuana, four marijuana-infused brownies, two bottles of marijuana-infused tincture and $50 in cash, according to the records. Last year, he pleaded guilty to felony drug possession.
Bjorkland said he got the marijuana and the products from Washington, and Washington admitted that during questioning, according to charging documents filed by Deputy Ravalli County Attorney Thorin Geist.
Federal investigators recorded conversations between Washington and Bjorkland that confirmed Bjorkland was working at the dispensary in November 2011, and that Washington knew Bjorkland didn’t have a medical marijuana card, court records state.
Washington currently is in the custody of the U.S. marshal. The Ravalli County Attorney’s Office requested he be taken into state custody for a hearing Thursday before Ravalli County District Court Judge James Haynes.
Washington played football for the Montana Grizzlies in 2005.