On Wednesday, a Missoula Police Department officer encountered a male while out on patrol. The male was known to the officer from several previous professional interactions. The officer also knew the male had an active warrant for his arrest. Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold explains.

“An officer was doing proactive patrols within the city limits of Missoula when he observed a male, 55-year-old David Tufton, who had a warrant out for his arrest,” Arnold said. “The officer recognized Tufton from prior law enforcement contacts. The officer stopped and made contact with Tufton. Tufton was taken into custody and cooperated with the police officer.”

During the officer’s search incident to Tufton’s arrest, he discovered a cigarette pack.

“Tufton asked the officer if he would give the cigarettes to his friend who was standing nearby,” Arnold said. “This is a common tactic by those concealing drugs to try and discard items prior to going to jail. Tufton gave the officer consent to look inside the cigarette box before giving the cigarettes to a friend. When the officer looked inside, the officer observed a substance consistent with methamphetamine.”

Another officer then used a TruNarc instrument, which confirmed the substance to be methamphetamine. Tufton was arrested and transported to the Missoula County Jail. He is currently being held for felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

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