Written by The Herald-News
Tanya Maria Hilliard appeared in Montana 15th Judicial Court Oct. 16 and pleaded not guilty to the felony charge of criminal possession with intent to distribute and to the misdemeanor charges of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
According to court documents, Roosevelt County Deputies Patrick O’Connor and Curt Holum were conducting a business check at the Gold Dust Casino in Bainville. O’Connor noticed a green pickup truck with a person inside the vehicle appearing to be attempting to hide from officers. Deputies ran the plates through dispatch. Dispatch told the deputies registered owner had outstanding warrants for his arrest. When officers returned to the vehicle, the individual in the pickup was gone.
Deputies went into the casino and made contact with William Francis Dupree and arrested him for the outstanding warrants. Holum attempted to identify the female with Dupree. The woman provided Holum with a name that was different from the name Dupree gave O’Connor. The female, identified as Tanya Maria Hilliard, was arrested for a California probation warrant.
O’Connor went back to the pickup to make sure it was secured. He searched the vehicle and found a hunting rifle in the cab and a glass marijuana pipe on the passenger seat.
Both Dupree and Hil-liard were advised of their Miranda rights. Dupree was asked about the pipe and he said it was his pipe he used to smoke marijuana and that there was a gram of marijuana in the pickup. He refused to allow O’Connor to remove the contraband. During transport, he stated that any other drugs or contraband in the vehicle belonged to Hilliard.
During Hilliard’s booking process, she had over $1,000 in her possession.
The vehicle was towed to Wolf Point and a search warrant was obtained. The vehicle was secured in the sally port of the sheriff’s office. O’Connor located a coffee can in the front passenger floor board.
When the coffee grounds were removed, there was a white plastic container that replaced the bottom of the can. The container contained a tied plastic baggie of suspected crystal methamphetamine. There was also folder paper bindle containing a white powdery substance consistent with methamphetamine. A green leafy substance, similar in appearance and odor to marijuana, was located in a pouch of the vehicle.
Judge David Cybulski advised Hilliard of her rights and the charges filed against her prior to her plea.
The defense made a motion for reduction of bond, which was denied.
Hilliard’s trial is scheduled for Dec. 12.