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By Tim Leeds 

Vanzant prescription drug trial set for June 10

Accused of intent to sell oxycodone

 

January 14, 2014



A man accused of having nearly 300 prescription painkillers he intended to sell when he was stopped on Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation is tentatively set to go to trial in early June.

Richard W. Vanzant III, born in 1984, is charged with three counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute them, a felony count of possession or use of property subject to forfeiture and a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in November.

State District Judge Dan Boucher set a trial date of June 10 on the charges.

Other trials are also scheduled for that date, and if the other cases are rescheduled or canceled due to dismissed charges or agreements, the Vanzant trial will start with jury selection at 9 a.m.

At the arraignment in November, Vanzant’s attorney said he has a residence in Atlanta; the booking form completed when Vanzant was arrested lists his residence as in Los Angeles, and he told officers when he was arrested he lived in Helena or at least received mail there. He was released on bond on conditions including allowing him to stay with a friend in Great Falls.

He was charged after Tri-Agency Safe Trails Task Force agents responded to a call from Rocky Boy police reporting officers had made a traffic stop. Vanzant and his vehicle matched the descriptions of a man an informant had said had been selling pain pills at a tavern in Box Elder.

The agents found a large amount of currency in the vehicle and also found a small amount of apparent marijuana under the dash of the car, and, behind it, a prescription bottle, a charging document says. The agent could not read the prescription nor to whom it was made due to its age and discoloration. The bottle contained 267 pills identified as three different kinds or strengths of oxycodone pain pills, the document says.

Vanzant had told officers that he had had prescription painkillers in the car, although he originally told them he had no pills with him, the document says.

His attorney said during the arraignment that he was researching evidence whether the pills found were prescribed to Vanzant.

 

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