By Patrick Winderl
An El Salvadoran citizen has been jailed in Hill County on a felony drug charges.
The Hill County Attorney's Office said today that Carlos Ramirez, 31, was charged Tuesday with possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute and use or possession of property subject to forfeiture.
He is being held in the Hill County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.
Havre police said Ramirez was arrested Saturday on a misdemeanor charge of partner or family assault. While he was being processed into the Hill County Detention Center, officers discovered 8.1 grams of cocaine and a large amount of cash in Ramirez's possession, Havre Assistant Police Chief Mike Barthel said.
The suspected cocaine was found in a hidden compartment in Ramirez's shoe, Barthel said. Initial tests performed by the Hill County Sheriff's Office indicated the substance was cocaine, and it has been sent to the State Crime Lab for confirmation, he added.
The cash was seized as evidence, though Barthel declined to say how much was taken.
The initial investigation indicates Ramirez had been living temporarily in Rocky Boy with his wife, although his last known address is in Portland, Ore., Barthel said.
The case is being investigated by the Tri-Agency Task Force.
Task force agent Jerry Nystrom said the task force became involved due to the quantity of drugs seized.
"That's a lot for one person at one time," he said. "It is a significant amount. It's more than personal use, let's put it that way."
Ramirez is not cooperating with the task force investigation, Nystrom said.
The U.S. Border Patrol in Havre also is checking on Ramirez's status.
"We have conducted a preliminary investigation of the subject," said Border Patrol spokesman Mark Kemp. "Ramirez is a citizen of El Salvador, though he may have some status in this country."
The Border Patrol will not act until the drug case against Ramirez is completed, Kemp said. Ramirez could face deportation pending the results of the case, he added.
"In cases like this, we always defer to the state," he said. "He won't come back into our consideration until the case and sentence are adjudicated."