Havre Daily News
Three young Havre men who've been in jail since their February arrest in Texas were indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on drug charges.
Anthony Bonavita, 19, Justin M. Jones, 21, and Brandon Morse, 19, have been charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, a first-degree felony; possession of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony; and engaging in organized crime, a third-degree felony, said Sue Randall, an investigator for the District Attorney's Office of the 106th Texas Judicial District. Maximum penalties for the offenses range from 10 to 99 years in prison.
The defendants are each being held on $125,000 bail in a jail in Lynn County, which is south of Lubbock.
The charges stem from an incident on Feb. 27 when the three were pulled over on U.S. 87 eight miles north of Tahoka, the county seat in Lynn County, the Texas Highway Patrol said. After stopping Bonavita's pickup for going 71 mph in a 65-mph zone, the trooper approached the vehicle and noticed a strong odor of marijuana, Highway Patrol Sgt. Michael McClure said. The trooper searched the vehicle and found 75.4 grams of cocaine, less than 2 ounces of marijuana, marijuana pipes, and less than 4 grams of Xanax, a prescription medication for anxiety, the Highway Patrol said.
The felony drug charges stem from the cocaine, Randall said. The charge for engaging in organized crime can be brought when two or more people are involved in committing a felony, she said.
Any charges related to the alleged marijuana, paraphernalia and Xanax would be misdemeanors and would be handled by the Lynn County Attorney's Office. A secretary in that office said prosecutors generally wait to file charges for misdemeanors after any felony charges have run their course.
Randall said she expects the men to be arraigned on the felony charges within a week.
According to McClure, the men said they were headed back to Montana at the time of the arrest.
An agent for the Tri-Agency Task Force in Havre said Tuesday that the task force has been investigating the source of the money used to buy the cocaine and any possible customers.
"We've identified some people," he said, "but we're continuing the investigation."