By Tim Leeds/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
A Havre resident was arraigned on federal charges Thursday in connection with what Tri-Agency Task Force members have called the largest drug bust in Havre history.
Paul Joseph Doney, 38, was charged in U.S. District Court in Great Falls with possession with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine and marijauna. Doney pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The indictment charges Doney with possessing 500 grams or more of meth, an unspecified amount of cocaine, and 1 kilogram or more of a mixture or substance containing marijauna, on Feb. 29 in Havre.
According to court documents, Doney was in a parked car in Havre on Feb. 29 when officers drove by, recognized him and remembered that he was wanted on an arrest warrant in Cascade County. Law enforcement officers pursued Doney, who fled on foot, the document said.
After arresting Doney in a Havre residence, officers searched the car, finding about 850 grams of suspected meth, about 200 grams of suspected cocaine, about 2 kilograms of marijauna, more than $8,500 in cash and three semiautomatic weapons, according to the task force.
Later, in March, task force members searched the car again and found an additional $20,000, according to the task force.
Doney also faces felony and misdemeanor drug charges in state District Court resulting from a different incident.
After the Feb. 29 arrest, Doney was transferred to the Cascade County jail, where he posted $15,000 bond on March 6 and was released, according to the Cascade County Sheriff's Office.
He was arrested four days later in Spokane, Wash., but was released, according to law enforcement officials there. No charges are pending.
After he was released from jail in Spokane on March 15, Cascade County issued a warrant for Doney's arrest for violating conditions of his release. On March 19, law enforcement officers searched for him in Havre, the task force said.
Searches in two houses found marijuana and small quantities of meth, the task force said, leading to felony and misdemeanor charges of possession of drugs and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia against Doney and his girlfriend, Sheila Benner, 28.
Robert Oats, 27, was charged with possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute during the same incident, the task force said.
If convicted on the federal meth charge, Doney faces 10 years to life in prison, a possible $4 million fine and five years of supervised release. For the cocaine charge, he faces up to 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and three years of supervised release. On the marijauna charge, he faces five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.