A former Montana State University-Northern recruiter and standout athlete is back in the Hill County Detention Center.
Joe C. Simpson II, charged with receiving marijuana to sell in Havre, turned himself into the Hill County Sheriff’s Department Thursday about 3:15 p.m. Deputies arrested Simpson on an outstanding $50,000 warrant charging him with leaving the county without permission from authorities.
He is scheduled to appear Feb. 2 in a hearing on the Hill County Attorney’s petition to revoke his release from jail on bond.
Simpson was charged in November with a felony count of attempted criminal possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and other counts when U.S. Postal Service employees notified the Tri-Agency Safe Trails Task Force in October that a package mailed to Simpson from California, which had been damaged in shipping, appeared to contain marijuana.
After obtaining a warrant and searching his Havre residence, law enforcement officers reported they found nearly $13,000 in cash hidden in bundles throughout the residence as well as a 9 mm handgun and small amounts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
The package mailed to Simpson contained about 2 pounds 3 ounces of a substance which field-tested positive for marijuana, a charging document says. It also says postal records show five packages including the one that was intercepted Oct. 19 were mailed from California to Simpson between Sept. 21 and Oct. 17. Some were mailed from Simpson’s hometown of Pittsburg, Calif., the document said.
At a hearing Dec. 23, in which state District Judge Dan Boucher set a trial on the charges for June 24, Simpson asked to be allowed to stay with his mother in Sacramento, Calif. Boucher ordered a written request be filed for his review, and told Simpson that if the request were granted and he failed to appear for any proceedings at which his presence was required, the court would issue a warrant for his arrest, and he would face new charges.
The Hill County Attorney Dec. 24 requested a warrant be issued and Simpson’s release revoked, reporting he had boarded an airplane in Great Falls at 6 a.m. that morning and left the state. Boucher issued the warrant with $50,000 bond that day.
Hill County Undersheriff Jamieson Ross said last week that California law enforcement officers had sought Simpson at his last known address in Pittsburg, but had been unable to locate him.