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Hamilton woman faces meth charge
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Hamilton woman faces meth charge

Josephine Echo Moriah Kretschmer


A Hamilton woman faces charges of possessing methamphetamine and stolen license plates following a traffic stop on Fairgrounds Road last Friday.

Josephine Echo Kretschmer, 29, appeared Tuesday on felony charges of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, and misdemeanor counts of theft, displaying improper license plates, driving without a valid driver’s license and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the charging affidavit, Kretschmer was pulled over for driving 45 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone.

The affidavit said the sheriff’s officer making the traffic stop noticed the driver and passenger making “furtive movements” inside the Chrysler Sebring. When the officer reported the plates, he was told they belonged on a Mercedes.

Kretschmer’s driver’s license was expired. She couldn’t tell the officer how she came into possession of the vehicle or where the license plates came from.

During a pat-down search, the officer found a wad of cash in Kretschmer’s jacket pocket.

A K-9 performed an exterior search of the vehicle. After the police dog indicated the presence of drugs, the vehicle was seized and placed into secure storage. While securing the vehicle, an officer saw a syringe on the passenger floorboard near the passenger exit sill plate, the affidavit said.

A subsequent search of the vehicle found two portable scales, six syringes, two loaded syringes, a Montana driver’s license belonging to another woman, seven smartphones and a blue and white pill believed to be Vyvanse, a medication prescribed for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The loaded syringes tested positive for methamphetamine.

The search also discovered two Montana and two Washington license plates hidden under the Montana license plates on the car. The Washington plates on the vehicle were confirmed to be stolen.

Ravalli County Justice Jennifer Ray set bail at $15,000.

In other justice court news:

Holly Marnette Gervais-Steele, 51, of Stevensville, was charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, open alcoholic beverage, driving while license was suspended and no insurance.

Gervais-Steele was arrested on Sept. 6 following a traffic stop near the Woodside Town Pump.

During the stop, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper noticed a bag on the vehicle’s center console with what appeared to be a pipe sticking out of it. The affidavit said Gervais-Steele attempted to conceal the bag after she was asked about it. After being asked by the trooper if there was methamphetamine in the bag, the affidavit said Gervais-Steele allegedly replied, “Looks that way to me.”

Bail was set at $10,000.

Levi Casey Lane, 41, of Conner was charged with failing to register as a sexual offender.

Lane has been convicted in two separate cases of felony sex offenses in Oregon, according to charging documents.

The charging affidavit said the U.S. Marshal’s office received an anonymous tip that Lane was living at 145 Conner Cutoff Road, No. 6, and had a current warrant for failing to register out of Flathead County.

A U.S. Marshal deputy contacted Lane, who allegedly told him that he had been living in Conner since March and had failed to register with the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office as required.

Bail was set at $20,000.


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