3 arrested after raid of suspected meth lab

2010-03-12T22:43:00Z 3 arrested after raid of suspected meth labZACH BENOIT Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
March 12, 2010 10:43 pm  • 

Three people were arrested Thursday morning when authorities searched a suspected methamphetamine lab north of Wolf Point.

Roosevelt County Sheriff Freedom Crawford said Roosevelt and Valley county sheriff’s deputies and Fort Peck Tribal Police officers executed a search warrant on the home, about 35 miles north of Wolf Point, at about 3 a.m.

Authorities arrested Wade Traeholt, 39, Brad Hohman, 28, and Heather Smith, 26. Traeholt was arrested on suspicion of operation of an unlawful clandestine methamphetamine lab and criminal possession of precursors to manufacture methamphetamine, while Hohman and Smith were arrested on suspicion of criminal possession of precursors to manufacture methamphetamine. All three are being held at the Roosevelt County jail.

“We did also locate an active (meth) lab and we dismantled it this afternoon,” Crawford said Thursday. “We’d been waiting for a hazmat team from Helena.”

Fort Peck Tribal Court also charged Jonisa Charette with criminal endangerment, and the Department of Family services placed an 8-month-old child in protective custody after the raid.

“Apparently these meth lab suspects did not take me seriously when I publicly stated that narcotics trafficking will not be tolerated in Roosevelt Count and the fort Peck Indian Reservation,” Crawford said. “They’ll obviously have some time to think

about that now.”

The bust was part of Operation New Beginning, a concentrated drug investigation effort started by the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office in May 2009. Since June of last year, nine meth labs, including today’s efforts, have been busted in the operation, and 38 people were arrested last November on accusations illegally selling prescription pills.

Crawford said all of the arrests since last year are the result of hard work from law enforcement and play an important role in keeping illegal drugs out of the community. “That’s our main goal because it’s a detriment to our residents up here,” he said.

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