Written by Al Stover
Leslie Ferguson appeared in the Montana 15th Judicial Court for his arraignment, July 24. Minutes later, Faye Ferguson, who confirmed to be Leslie Ferguson’s wife after being asked by Judge David Cybulski, sat in the same seat for her arraignment.
Leslie Ferguson pleaded not guilty to both the felony charge of criminal possession of dangerous drugs and the misdemeanor charge of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
Faye Ferguson pleaded not guilty to the felony charge of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, and the misdemeanor charges of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
According to charging documents, on July 4 Lynwood Bateman of the Montana Highway Patrol, noticed a maroon Chevrolet Silverado pickup, which had a Montana license plate, with a tint infraction.
Bateman made contact with the driver, who did not have a valid driver’s license and identified himself as “Les” Ferguson. The individual in the passenger seat identified herself as Faye Ferguson.
The trooper smelled burnt marijuana coming from the Silverado. He learned that both the driver and the passenger had misdemeanor warrants. Bateman arrested Leslie Ferguson for his warrant from Prairie County and was placed in the rear of Bateman’s patrol vehicle.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Corporal Avis Ball, who works with the Big Muddy River Drug Task Force, arrived on the scene and approached the Silverado with Bateman and made contact with Faye Ferguson. Bateman noticed a can of Mike’s Hard Lemonade in the center console and asked Faye Ferguson to hand it to him. When she was asked about the marijuana smell, Faye Ferguson explained that on the way to Williston, N.D., she had smoked a “doob,” which is slang for marijuana. She then smoked another one in between the state line and Culbertson. She also said she extinguished the marijuana in the can of hard lemonade.
Faye Ferguson was arrested for possession of marijuana and the outstanding warrant. Both she and Leslie were transported to the Roosevelt County Detention Center for arrest processing and the vehicle was seized as evidence and towed to the sheriff's office.
Documents stated that after Leslie Ferguson had posted bond, he gave consent to search the Silverado, though both Ball and Bateman advised him he could withdraw consent at any time.
Bateman searched the vehicle and located a hidden compartment where he found a white sock, which contained two glass pipes with residue and burn marks. Leslie Ferguson became nervous and asked Bateman what was found. He then stated that whatever the trooper found belonged to his son.
Leslie Ferguson then withdrew his consent to the search and officers terminated the search. The Silverado was re-secured and the officers prepared a search warrant. Leslie Ferguson was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to documents, Ball obtained a search warrant for the vehicle, July 5. Both she and Bateman executed the search and found several items that were seized as evidence, including: two glass pipes with residue, a digital scale and an Altoids container with suspected burnt marijuana cigarettes.
Roosevelt County Attorney Ralph Patch agreed to have Faye Ferguson’s bond reduced to $15,000.
Both Fergusons are scheduled to have their omnibus hearing on Aug. 14. Leslie Ferguson’s trial date is scheduled for Sept. 17 and will sign a voluntary waiver of extradition. Faye Ferguson’s trial date is set for Oct. 17.