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Two major drug busts in Billings County occur within 72 hours

The Southwest Narcotics Task Force and area agencies report significant joint-effort arrests.

A siren light from a patrol vehicle is shown.
The Southwest Narcotics Task Force operates as a combined group of agents assigned from their parent agencies funded by participating cities and counties, including, Adams, Billings, Golden Valley, Hettinger, Slope and Stark counties and the cities of Belfield, Dickinson and Medora. This agency also includes officials from the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
(Dickinson Press file photo)

BILLINGS COUNTY, N.D. — On Sunday, Benjamin Spanbauer was arrested in Medora, North Dakota, for fleeing law enforcement and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver marijuana. The chase began near Glendive, Montana, when a trooper with the Montana Highway Patrol initiated a traffic stop, but the driver did not comply. He proceeded into Golden Valley County, North Dakota, and eventually Billings County, where the chase ended near a cemetery in Medora — 62 miles southeast from where the chase was initiated.

Chief Deputy Dean Wyckoff of the Billings County Sheriff’s Department said Spanbauer was driving a rental car four-door Audi S5 sedan — which is capable of very high speeds.

Spanbauer collided with a sheriff’s truck while trying to escape. This caused significant harm to both vehicles, especially that of the suspect.

“There was pretty significant damage to our pickup,” Wyckoff said, adding that the truck had a thick grille guard on the front end that protected it to some degree.

Ben Spanbauer is pictured.
Benjamin Spanbauer, pictured above, is currently being held at the Southwest Multi-County Correction Center after he was arrested in Medora, North Dakota, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, for fleeing law enforcement and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver marijuana.
(Contributed / Southwest Multi-County Correction Center)

Law enforcement found 55 pounds of marijuana upon searching the vehicle. Spanbauer, 38, is a resident of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.
In a separate incident that took place Tuesday, North Dakota Highway Patrol made a drug related arrest with assistance from the Southwest Narcotics Task Force among other agencies. Jason Holland of Buchannan, North Dakota, and Katie Armijo of Glen Ullin, North Dakota, were arrested for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver methamphetamine with additional charges pending.

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Jason Holland is pictured.
Jason Holland of Buchannan, North Dakota, is currently being held at the Southwest Multi-County Correction Center, along with Katie Armijo of Glen Ullin, North Dakota, after they were arrested Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver methamphetamine with additional charges pending.
(Contributed / Southwest Multi-County Correction Center)
Katie Armijo is pictured.
Katie Armijo, of Glen Ullin, North Dakota, pictured above is currently being housed at the Southwest Multi-County Correction Center, along with Jason Holland, of Buchannan, North Dakota, after they were arrested Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver methamphetamine with additional charges pending.
(Contributed / Southwest Multi-County Correction Center)

The stop occurred on Interstate 94 in the eastern half of Billings County. Officers seized approximately 1.8 kilograms of “presumptively identified” methamphetamine, 500 fentynal pills and 8 ounces of marijuana. Wyckoff said he believes all three of the suspects from both incidents remain in custody at the Southwest Multi-County Correction Center.

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