Three people arrested for transporting marijuana via Amtrak

Large amounts bring felony charges
2012-10-09T20:05:00Z 2014-08-25T09:35:54Z Three people arrested for transporting marijuana via AmtrakBy CARMEN DAYE IRISH The Billings Gazette

Three suspects have been arrested in northeast Montana and are facing felony charges for allegedly transporting large amounts of marijuana on an Amtrak train.

Roosevelt County deputies were called Saturday to the Mondak area, southeast of Bainville, to the train after a tip was called in that a man on the train had a warrant for his arrest out of North Dakota for failure to appear in court, according to a Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office press release.

“We got the tip, and sure enough, there he was,” Roosevelt County Sheriff Freedom Crawford said Tuesday.

David Koepke, of Reno, Nev., was arrested and is being held at the Roosevelt County jail on a $100,000 bond.

Law enforcement also discovered after his arrest at least two pounds of marijuana in his luggage, Crawford said.

Keopke was charged with possession of dangerous drugs and carrying dangerous drugs on a train, both felonies.

In a separate incident, on Oct. 2, deputies from the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call that a man and woman were walking along the railroad tracks east of Poplar. The caller said the woman was bleeding and that they had possibly jumped from an Amtrak train, according to a Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Crawford and deputies, with the assistance of Fort Peck Tribal Law and Justice officers, located Morris Hayden and Amberly Dobbins at about 6 p.m. Crawford said they are from out of state.

The release says Dobbins was in need of medical attention and an ambulance was called.

“The train was moving when they jumped off,” Crawford said.

Both Dobbins and Morris were arrested for obstructing a peace officer.

Dobbins was taken to the hospital emergency room and Hayden was transported to the Roosevelt County Detention Facility.

The next day, while their baggage was searched by jail staff, several sealed bags of marijuana were discovered, amounting to about seven pounds. Investigators also discovered more than $1,000.

Dobbins and Hayden were both charged with felony possession of dangerous drugs with intent to sell and transporting a dangerous drug on a train.

Amtrak’s website lists security measures including identification checks, police dogs and random passenger and checked baggage screening and inspection, some of which are conducted on a random basis. These measures may happen in an Amtrak station or onboard trains, the website states.

“It’s a big route of transportation and the security is much less on a train than an airplane,” Crawford said. “It’s a matter-of-fact issue when safety is concerned, especially with the increase of usage with the Bakken oil field traffic.”

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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