Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On April 6, 2023, at approximately 4:45 a.m., Missoula Police Department Officers were dispatched to a report of a running Subaru parked in front of a local casino, which had two females passed out in the front seats and that the females had tin foil in their hands. An officer arrived and attempted to make contact with the occupants by knocking on the driver’s side window, but neither female was awakened.

 The officer knocked again, more forcefully, which awakened the females. The female in the driver’s seat was identified as Grace Butler and the passenger was identified as Andrea Dickinson. The officer asked Grace to step out of the car and he observed that Grace had a black fanny pack strapped around her waist. Additionally, he observed a small zip-lock bag, several lighters, and torches on the driver’s side of the vehicle. After making these observations of commonly known pieces of drug paraphernalia, the officer read Grace her Miranda rights and she agreed to speak.

Court documents indicate Grace stated that she was just tired and cold, before advising that she was an “addict.” Grace stated that she used methadone and when asked if there was any methamphetamine, heroin, or fentanyl in the car, she stated “nothing that I know of” and she further denied having any dangerous drugs on her person. When asked if she was on probation, Grace stated she was. Grace also told the officer that the Subaru was Andrea’s.

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Officers Contact a Probation Officer

The officer contacted the on-call probation officer who requested further clarification of who the car belonged to. The officer asked Andrea if the car was hers. She looked puzzled and responded the car was not hers. Grace again stated the car belonged to Andrea. When the officer confronted Grace with the discrepancy, she stumbled on her words and stated “I mean, it’s not mine.” After advising the probation officer of the circumstances, the probation officer asked the officer to search Grace’s person and the immediate area of where she was seated in the car. 

An officer removed the fanny pack around Grace’s waist and began his search of her person. Within her left sweatpants pocket, the officer located a black plastic cylinder with a keyed lock on the top cap and a cellphone. The officer shook the cylinder and found that it appeared to contain pills. Within the fanny pack, the officer located a large amount of cash, later determined to be $734, some of which was bound by rubber bands. 

Then the officer searched the front passenger side of the car and found a small glass pipe located beside the passenger seat. The officer also found two white plastic straws that appeared to have drug residue inside, several small pieces of tinfoil, a fentanyl pill, and an empty hypodermic needle. 

Who Does the Car Belong to?

Another officer spoke with Andrea. Andrea denied that the car belonged to her, stating she did not have a driver’s license and did not have a car. Andrea stated that Grace had picked her up from the shelter earlier in the night, in the Subaru. The officer asked Andrea what he would find within the car, to which she stated “fentanyl and clear” and that they would be in the front of the vehicle. Andrea identified two bags in the front seat as hers and consented to a search of them. 

The officer called the probation officer again and provided more information. The probation officer requested that the entire car be searched. Officers searched the car and located a tin container, which contained several small clear plastic baggies.  

Officers also searched the black cylinder lock box that was found on Grace’s person. The officers used a key that they had found on Grace’s person and found that it opened the locked box, which contained many fentanyl pills. The pills were later counted and found to total 208. In a subsequent interview with a Task Force, Grace admitted that the 200-300 pills found on her person belonged to her and were fentanyl pills. The officer continued to look within the lock box and found a small plastic bag of methamphetamine.  

"I Give Them to My Friends"

The officer asked Grace if she ever sells fentanyl pills to her friends. After a moment, Grace stated, “I mean, I give them to my friends.” The officer then asked Andrea, after reminding her that her Miranda rights still applied, if Grace was selling dangerous drugs, Andrea replied “I’m pretty sure.” Andrea stated she had never bought from Grace, but that Grace had provided her fentanyl and methamphetamine earlier. 

At the conclusion of the investigation, Grace and Andrea were placed under arrest. According to court documents, the officer tested one of the suspected fentanyl pills, via a NIK test, at the police station and it yielded a presumptive positive for fentanyl. He later tested the crystal-like substance he found within the lockbox via the TruNarc, and it yielded a positive for methamphetamine and weighed approximately 2.7 grams. Additionally, he tested the crystal-like substance found on Andrea’s person via the TruNarc, and it yielded a positive test for methamphetamine and weighed approximately 1.4 grams. 

Grace Butler is currently being charged with felony criminal distribution of dangerous drugs, felony criminal possession with intent to distribute, felony unlawful use or possession of property subject to criminal forfeiture, two counts of felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs, and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Andrea Dickinson is currently being charged with felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs. 

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.

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