Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On April 5, 2024, at approximately 1:56 AM, a Missoula County Sheriff’s Office deputy received a call regarding a “Be On the Lookout” (BOLO) recently issued by Powell County Sheriff’s deputies. Powell County deputies confirmed there were two occupants in the suspect vehicle. The BOLO also stated, "Subjects in the vehicle were exhibiting behavior that aligned with drug trafficking”. 

At around 2:07 AM, a deputy was positioned at the mile marker 103 median on I90 when he observed a vehicle matching the description of the BOLO. As the deputy was attempting to catch up, the vehicle began accelerating away. The deputy initiated the top light bar and sirens of his patrol car and attempted pursuit.  

Speeds continued to increase during the pursuit. The deputy noted that speeds topped out around 150 mph for several miles. Once at the Reserve Street interchange, the driver turned off all vehicle lights completely. At this time of night, it was completely dark, and the lights being shut off concealed the speeding vehicle. The suspect vehicle then passed several other motorists who were operating on the same Interstate.  

Suspect Vehicle Crashes 

The suspect vehicle took the 93 North exit ramp. The deputy observed the vehicle had driven off the roadway on the right side of an embankment and determined it had crashed. The occupants of the vehicle had fled the scene upon crashing. A perimeter was then established, and a search of the area and surrounding businesses was conducted with several units. 

At approximately 5:32 AM, Missoula County 911 took a call from Muralt’s Travel Plaza at the Wye stating that two suspicious males had come into the store and purchased some clothing items including some baseball caps. After that, they crossed the highway and made their way into the Town Pump.  

Town Pump employees had also just called 911 and informed that the suspect males had just purchased two puffy jackets. Deputies spoke with an employee who advised that the suspect males had gone into the men’s restroom. A deputy and corporal entered the men’s restroom and determined that all three stalls were occupied. 

The middle-occupied stall opened and a male matching the description of one of the subjects emerged. Deputies quickly placed the first male into custody and the second suspect submitted to arrest without further issue. One male was positively identified as 18-year-old Enrique Ramirez-Valdivia.  

The Suspect Male Provides a Statement 

A deputy escorted the other male to a patrol vehicle where he read him his Miranda Rights to which he acknowledged and stated he understood. He stated that he had just met Ramirez-Valdivia earlier in the day for the first time. He stated that he was hired by “Jake” to ride with Ramirez-Valdivia to somewhere in Montana and pick up money, possibly “thousands of dollars”, but was not given much information.  

While enroute, they were stopped by a Powell County Sheriff Deputy. He added that while Ramirez-Valdivia was stopped, he waited until the deputy was at the passenger window, and then suddenly fled. 

According to court documents, a deputy asked him what they were dropping off in exchange for money, and he stated that he did not know what they were dropping off as he wasn’t told anything but speculated that it could be drugs. He also stated that if something was in the vehicle it would most likely be in the trunk. He claimed that Ramirez-Valdivia never disclosed to him what was in the car and stated that he was just getting paid for the ride-along and did not ask a lot of questions.  

Ramirez-Valdivia did not provide a statement, but during a search incident to arrest, baggies with what appeared to be drug residue were found on his person. Both Ramirez-Valdivia and the other male were transported to the Missoula County Detention Facility without further incident. 

READ MORE: Missoula News - Crime Reports

Detective Locates Drugs 

Later, on April 5, 2024, a Missoula County Sheriff’s Detective was assigned to investigate the incident. The detective applied for and was granted a search warrant for the vehicle. In the trunk, the detective discovered a large quantity of methamphetamine. The product was weighed at a total package approximate weight of 64 ounces. 

The detective was aware, from her training and experience, that this quantity of methamphetamine exceeded the quantity typically possessed for personal use by a drug user, and that the quantity as well as the evidence of hard travel and statements provided indicated that the drugs were intended for distribution. 

The other suspect male was charged with two misdemeanors, resisting arrest and obstructing a peace officer. Ramirez-Valdivia is currently being charged with felony criminal possession with intent to distribute, felony criminal endangerment, fleeing from a peace officer, and obstructing. On April 8, 2024, Ramirez-Valdivia made his initial appearance at Missoula Justice Court and his bond was set at $100,000. 

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

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