Two major drug busts in Billings County occur within 72 hours
The Southwest Narcotics Task Force and area agencies report significant joint-effort arrests.
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.
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.
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.