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Wanted St. Ignatius man allegedly found with fentanyl, meth in Stevensville

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Jayante James Pichette mug shot

Jayante James Pichette

A St. Ignatius man wanted on a $50,000 warrant out of Lake County was allegedly found to be in possession of both methamphetamine and fentanyl after being arrested for trespassing in Stevensville on Wednesday.

Jayante James Pichette, 21, of St. Ignatius was charged with two felony counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs as well as misdemeanor criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal trespass in Ravalli County Justice Court on Thursday, Jan. 12.

According to court documents, a Ravalli County Sheriff's deputy responded to a Stevensville residence at 8:51 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11 for a report of trespassing in progress. Upon arrival the deputy spoke with a woman who showed him where she had seen a man on the side of the house. The deputy observed fresh tracks in the snow around the house and under the porch, noting it appeared as if the individual had left the area. The officer instructed the woman to lock her doors and call back if the male returned.

The deputy conducted a check of the surrounding area, meeting with the woman’s father, who later provided images from surveillance video and a Facebook photo of Pichette. The woman’s father said that she was certain the man she saw was Pichette. Dispatch advised the deputy that Pichette had an unspecified $50,000 warrant out of Lake County District Court.

At 1:36 p.m. dispatch received a second call from the residence, reporting that Pichette had returned and was outside the house. The deputy returned to the residence and found that Pichette had again left the immediate area. The deputy followed the man’s tracks in the snow and located him under a tree not far from the home.

Pichette reportedly waived his Miranda rights upon being taken into custody and told the deputy he was there looking for a daughter of the man who lived there, who he said he had been dating at one point. He also told the deputy he was trying to avoid her parents and knew he did not have permission to be there. He then allegedly told the deputy that he had tinfoil with fentanyl residue in his boot, and said that he had left a backpack in the trees where he was found.

Pichette and the backpack were searched upon booking at the Ravalli County Detention Center. Multiple pieces of tinfoil with residue were reportedly found along with two small plastic bags containing white powder residue. Pichette reportedly told law enforcement the bags had contained methamphetamine, which he said he had smoked that morning prior to being dropped off at the property. He also allegedly admitted to smoking fentanyl two hours prior. Detention Center staff also reported finding a glass pipe, a straw and a dental pick in the backpack, along with a $5 bill rolled up as if to snort powder with. The items were collected into evidence and sent to the Montana State Crime Lab for testing.

Justice of the Peace Jennifer Ray set bail at $20,000.

Jessica Abell is the editor of the Ravalli Republic. 

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