Drug Sting Shooting Suspects Appear in Missoula Court [AUDIO]
Two suspects allegedly involved with an undercover drug sting operation that led to a detective and a suspect both being shot near Rosauers, appeared in Missoula Justice Court via video from the Missoula County jail on Friday, November 29.
According to court documents, Jazmine Beehler, 22, arranged for the undercover detective to meet Joshua Robinson, 25, in front of Gold's Gym for a drug deal. When Robinson attempted to rob the detective at gunpoint, the officer produced his own handgun and shots were fired. Robinson fired two shots, striking the detective in the leg and the third shot jammed. The detective returned fire, striking Robinson in the arm. Robinson then fled the vehicle and collapsed near Rosauers grocery store and was surrounded by law enforcement officers and taken into custody.
Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks said Robinson met the detective through an arrangement with Beehler.
"An undercover officer with the local drug task force conducted what was supposed to be a buy that he arranged through Ms. Beehler," Marks said. "When Mr. Robinson arrived, he attempted to rob the detective of the money he had brought to the transaction."
Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks
Marks asked Judge John Odlin to place Robinson in jail on $250,000 bond, due to the serious nature of the crime, in that he had attempted to kill a police officer. Odlin agreed, and remanded Robinson back to the jail with his next court appearance set for December 13.
Jazmine Beehler was charged with felony distribution of dangerous drugs and conspiracy to commit robbery. Marks asked Judge Odlin to place Beehler in jail on $150,000 bond, which was granted. Her next court appearance will also be December 13.
Bryan Lockerby with the Montana Criminal Investigation Division in Helena said on Friday morning, November 29, that the wounded detective is 33 years of age and has been with the department for six years. The man's name has not yet been released due to the confidential nature of his undercover work. Lockerby said the investigation is still a long way from being complete.
"I can tell you that there's a large cast of characters, and we're trying to find all of them, whether they were witnesses or suspects," Lockerby said. "It's really difficult to dig into the weeds and find everyone, because right now they've all scattered and are hiding under rocks, so to speak."
Lockerby outlined the limited scope of the investigation being conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division.
"The division is only investigating the shooting," Lockerby said. "The narcotics task force is still working the drug angle to see how far it goes," Lockerby said. "What we've got to do is recover evidence and process a couple of the crime scenes, and we've done most of that. We need to find more witnesses and interview them, and then put the whole package together with a bow and hand it to the county attorney's office for review, so that's going to take a little while."
Bryan Lockerby With the Montana Criminal Investigation Division