Written by Al Stover
Justin Michael Perkins appeared in Montana 15th Judicial Court Sept. 11 to change his plea from “not guilty” to “guilty” on a felony charge of theft and a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
He also entered a plea of no contest to the felony charge of criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
Perkins had appeared in court Aug. 14 and pleaded not guilty to the charges listed above, as well as an additional misdemeanor charge of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, which was later dismissed by Roosevelt County Attorney Ralph Patch.
Perkins was arrested by the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office July 24 after officers conducted a traffic stop at Country Road 1028 and pulled over a vehicle that matched the description of a 2004 GMC pickup that had been reported stolen in Richland County.
Prior to taking the pickup, Perkins had operated a vehicle without the owner’s consent in the parking lot of Val-Am in Culbertson. Officers were able to identify him from security footage at Val-Am.
After officers arrested him, Perkins stated he had a pipe in the glove box of the vehicle and that he had been selling drugs after he lost his job.
The owner of the pickup gave officers permission to search the vehicle and they found a flowered colored case that contained a razor blade, straw and fuse holder. They also found a bag that contained a glass meth pipe with suspected methamphetamine residue.
The owner of the vehicle also found a ledger with drug information, silver watch and a set of keys. All the items were taken into evidence while the truck was returned to the owner.
Perkins was sworn and testified to the facts of the offenses and the court accepted the plea after they found it was voluntary.
A pre-sentence investigation has been ordered.