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Carlos McElfish

A Victor man who used drugs to lure teenage girls to his trailer for sex was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in the Montana State Prison with 20 years suspended.

Carlos Joseph McElfish, 40, was arrested last year after he lured a 16-year-old Missoula girl to his trailer in the middle of the night with a promise of a job in his medical marijuana dispensary.

Instead of finding a job, the girl found herself alone in the man’s trailer on McElfish Court, too afraid to say no to his sexual advances, according to charging documents.

After the encounter, McElfish gave the teenager sample bags of marijuana and hash oil. He took her home, but later told her via text that she needed to sign an affidavit so he could avoid wrongful prosecution.

Using the name “Carlos Joe,” McElfish contacted numerous school-aged girls on social media, where he made unwanted sexual propositions and suggestions.

In one social media post, McElfish wrote: “I will give you $1000 if I can have you for just two days. After we meet in public for lunch of sumthing (sic) so you can make sure Im (sic) trustworthy. Would you be down for that? $1000 for 48 hours.”

Online, he touted that he ran a successful marijuana dispensary in Missoula,  “so I have an abundance of weed and cash.”

McElfish was arrested after the Missoula teen went to First Step Resource Center in Missoula and disclosed her experience to a nurse.

In January 2018, a Ravalli County sheriff’s detective searched McElfish’s trailer. Court documents said he found 440 grams of Dabs (hash oil), 5.81 pounds of marijuana and at least 13 other types of dangerous drugs, including methamphetamine, LSD, morphine and a bag of an unknown substance marked “performance enhancing.”

The combined street value of the drugs was in excess of $75,000. Most were stored in individual labeled containers marked for sale and distribution. McElfish was not a medical marijuana provider or patient.

A second detective was tasked with processing the electronic storage devices recovered from McElfish’s trailer. She identified numerous videos and photographs of McElfish using drugs and providing it to others, including young females.

The videos and photographs also depicted McElfish having sex with three different girls, all determined to be underage, between May and September 2017.

McElfish pleaded guilty last November to three counts of sexual abuse of children and three counts of criminal distribution of drugs as part of a plea bargain agreement that dropped several charges.


Associate Editor

Reporter for The Ravalli Republic.