Just before midnight on Tuesday, a Missoula Police Officer was patrolling near the area of North Reserve and he recognized a vehicle from a recent narcotics investigation. The vehicle was occupied by a female who he recognized from previous encounters and was known to him as a narcotics user.

The officer also observed a male standing at the female’s window. At one point, the male walked to a white passenger car, got into the driver’s seat, and slumped down. The officer noted that the license plate on the car was expired.

The two vehicles eventually left the parking lot. A short time later, the officer observed these vehicles pass his location again and he decided to pull out behind them. The officer conducted a traffic stop on the male’s car, but the female’s vehicle accelerated and turned onto a side street. Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh explains.

“An officer initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle in the 3700 block of North Reserve Street and made contact with the driver who was identified as 33-year-old Jake McClurg,” Welsh said. “The officer learned that Mr. McClurg did not have a valid driver’s license and that he was on probation. As the officer continued to speak with Mr. McClurg, he began to develop a suspicion that Mr. McClurg was involved in drug activity.”

When the officer asked for registration and insurance, McClurg opened the glove box and a pack of hypodermic needles fell out. The officer then observed a yellow straw that had been cut, which he recognized from his training and experience is commonly used to ingest narcotics.

“The officer contacted Mr. McClurg’s probation officer who authorized a search, which yielded numerous items of drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine,” Welsh said. “The officer was also aware that Mr. McClurg had an outstanding felony warrant for his arrest. He was placed under arrest and transported to the Missoula County Detention Center.”

During a search of the vehicle, the officer located numerous hypodermic needles, a scale, a 20 gram weight, and two baggies of meth. The first bag weighed 1.58 grams and the second weighed 3.10 grams, including the weight of the baggie.

McClurg was charged with felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.

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