Three men arrested on felony meth charges

2011-11-07T20:29:00Z Three men arrested on felony meth chargesBy PERRY BACKUS - Ravalli Republic Ravalli Republic
November 07, 2011 8:29 pm  • 

Three men were arrested on methamphetamine charges Friday following a three-month investigation that involved both the Ravalli and Missoula county sheriff's offices.

Billy Joe Johnson Jr., 33, of Stevensville; Roy J. Carter, 44, of Missoula; and Richard E. Watson, 41, of Snohomish, Wash., appeared before Ravalli County Judge Robin Clute Monday on felony drug charges.

The men were arrested Friday at Johnson's home on Bell Crossing on a tip from Missoula detectives.

Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman said more than two ounces of methamphetamine were seized in the arrest. The drugs had an estimated street value of between $5,600 and $7,800.

"This case revolved around two separate investigations in Ravalli County and Missoula County," Hoffman said Monday. "The successful disruption of the flow of this methamphetamine was due to information sharing from both agencies."

The investigation began last July when Ravalli County sheriff's detectives spoke to a woman who expressed concerns that Johnson was using the drug, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

She told investigators the man had lost about 30 pounds in three months and had scabs and sores on his face and lips.

In August, the Missoula County sheriff's office started getting reports from a confidential source that Johnson was selling methamphetamine.

In an unrelated case, the affidavit said Carter was pulled over in Missoula in September in a traffic stop for driving while his license was suspended. After towing the vehicle, detectives located five grams of meth inside a fake soda can.

Carter was not arrested at the time, after he told investigators he did not own the vehicle.

The affidavit said a confidential informant later told Missoula detectives that Carter had a source of meth from outside the state and was selling the drug.

Last Friday, the informant told detectives that Carter's source of methamphetamine was at Carter's house. While obtaining a search warrant, the Missoula detectives learned that Carter was en route in a black car with Washington plates to allegedly deliver meth to Johnson.

When Ravalli County sheriff's detectives arrived at Johnson's home, they found Watson and Johnson working on the car. During a pat-down, the affidavit said methamphetamine was found on Johnson and a substantial amount of cash was in Watson's wallet.

The affidavit said the three men had constricted pupils and officers believed they were under the influence of meth.

Watson told the officers he was there to buy a car, but later allegedly admitted he bought an ounce of meth from Johnson, the affidavit said.

Missoula authorities also seized methamphetamine from Carter's residence after executing a search warrant.

Ravalli County officers found a digital scale, three rifles and a shotgun, a baggie with suspected meth residue and numerous white pills in a plastic bag at Johnson's home.

In Watson's vehicle, they discovered two baggies of meth, digital scales and about $6,300 in cash.

Clute set bail at $50,000 for both Carter and Watson. Johnson's bail was set at $25,000.

Reach reporter Perry Backus at 363-3300 or


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