Bison near arch

A bison makes its way across the historic gate to Yellowstone Park in Gardiner.

Gazette Staff

The federal government is aiming to keep more than $20,000 seized during a drug bust in Yellowstone National Park.

A civil forfeiture complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Wyoming looks to keep $20,337 that's currently in the possession of the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hambrick filed the complaint, reasoning that the money was intended to be used in a drug buy.

A Yellowstone National Park Ranger stopped a speeding vehicle on July 8, according to court documents. The ranger smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle, inside of which sat Jacob C.A. Dotson and Dustin Alvis. Both men are from Illinois.

A search of the vehicle found marijuana and joints, THC oil and the cash.

In an interview with law enforcement, Dotson said his portion of the money was intended to purchase marijuana in Oregon. He said that $11,000 of the money was his, according to court documents. 

Alvis said $10,000 belonged to him.

Both men received five years of probation from the U.S. District Court for simple possession of a controlled substance. They're banned from entering Yellowstone National Park during that time and must each pay a $1,025 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hambrick filed the request on Sept. 6, asking that the U.S. government keep the money.

The men will have the opportunity to contest the forfeiture.

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Reporter for The Billings Gazette.