By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
A tip from a confidential informant led to the seizure of $20,000 from the same vehicle in which police found a large amount of drugs and cash during a bust last month, the Tri-Agency Task Force said today.
Task force agents learned Tuesday that a 1996 Eagle Talon seized following a Feb. 29 traffic stop contained more cash than agents found during their original search, a task force agent said this morning. On Wednesday, the agents obtained a second search warrant for the car and discovered $20,000 in large bills stashed under the front dashboard, the agent said.
The task force had previously obtained a search warrant for the Talon and a house on Havre's east end.
"When we applied for the original search warrant, it was for the house and the vehicle. When you have further information, it's common practice to apply for another search warrant to cover that information," the agent said.
The Talon was seized during what police describe as the largest methamphetamine bust in Havre's history. During the early morning hours of Feb. 29, a Hill County sheriff's deputy conducted a traffic stop on the Talon after learning that the driver - 38-year-old Paul Joseph Doney - was wanted on a felony warrant in Cascade County, according to the task force.
Doney fled on foot and ran inside a house in the 1500 block of Fourth Street, the task force said. Deputies and Havre police officers arrested Doney inside the residence.
A search of the car yielded about 850 grams of suspected meth, about 200 grams of suspected cocaine and about 2 kilograms of suspected marijuana, the task force said. Police estimated the combined street value at $112,000. Agents also seized more than $8,500 in cash and three semiautomatic weapons from the vehicle, according to the task force.
The three weapons were an AK-47 assault rifle, a Tech-9 machine pistol, and a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun, a task force agent said today. Loaded clips for the Smith & Wesson and Tech-9 were also found in the vehicle, he said.
"The guns haven't been test fired," the task force agent said. "Those weapons have been turned over to the FBI and will be sent to their lab for analysis."
The FBI will determine if they have been modified to be fully automatic, the agent said.
Doney has not been charged in connection with the Feb. 29 incident. The task force and federal authorities continue to investigate, the task force said.
Doney was jailed in Great Falls on the outstanding warrants. According to the Cascade County Clerk of Court's Office, he is charged with one felony and six misdemeanors: criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal posproof of insurance, failure to remain at the scene of an accident, and driving with a suspended or revoked license.
On March 5, his bail was reduced to $15,000. He bonded out the following day, according to the Cascade County Sheriff's Office.
Doney was convicted in Hill County in 1991 of selling dangerous drugs and was given a five-year suspended sentence. The suspended sentence was revoked the following year after police found marijuana roaches and a shotgun in Doney's house, and he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, according to court records. The same year, Doney was also convicted of criminal mischief for stealing a radar unit from a parked police cruiser.
A felony charge in 1994 of possession of dangerous drugs was dismissed after a judge ruled that evidence seized during a traffic stop was obtained illegally.