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Several implicated in alleged scheme to smuggle drugs, contraband into Montana jail

GREAT FALLS- Several people have been implicated in an alleged scheme to smuggle drugs and other contraband into the Cascade County Detention Center.

In June of 2019, Russell Country Drug Task Force detectives and Cascade County Sheriff’s deputies began investigating the smuggling of dangerous drugs and illegal articles into the Cascade County jail located at 3800 Ulm North Frontage Road.

Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter reported the scheme involved close coordination between inmates and individuals who were not in custody.

The smuggling would typically occur as follows: Individuals not in custody would bond an inmate with a low bond out of jail. When the inmate got out, the inmate would be taken to a location where he would be provided with different “packages.”

The “packages” were made of either balloons, condoms, or saran wrap, which contained different illegal articles. The illegal articles in packages varied, but would typically include methamphetamine, Suboxone, marijuana, tobacco, lighters, and rolling papers.

After the bonded out inmate was provided the packages, they would then swallow the packages or hide the packages in an orifice. Once the inmate was loaded with contraband, the inmate was required to commit a new crime, or otherwise engage in conduct, which would result in their bond getting revoked or them being re-arrested. The inmate would then return to the jail, according to Slaughter.

Law enforcement determined that a particular group of inmates participated in the scheme to traffic contraband into the detention center. Those inmates included Franklin Caplette, Guadalupe Galicia, Owen Hawley, Richard Houle, and Anthony Beltran, according to Slaughter.

Slaughter also named the individuals outside of the jail who are accused of facilitating the trafficking. Those people include Traci Lamere, Cory Gay, Katrina Palmer, Lacey Hawley, Antonio Lamere, and Ryan Beltran. Kalled Jaha, Anthony Beavers, and William Claus were also involved on the outside, as individuals who were not in custody.

Detectives from the HITDA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program) included the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office, Great Falls Police Department, Conrad Police Department and the U.S. Marshals, who all assisted in the arrest of several suspects during the investigation.

At this time, Traci Caplette and Kalled Jaha have not been arrested and have active warrants. Slaughter asked for anyone with information concerning Caplette and Jaha to contact the Cascade County Sheriffs Office 406-454-6978 or call 911.

MTN News

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