The Missoula County Attorney’s Office was fairly busy this week. Chief Deputy County Attorney Jason Marks say they filed 17 new felony cases.

“Six of those were drug offenses, either distribution or possession,” Marks said. “We had an uptick in domestic violence cases, especially over this last weekend. We filed seven new domestic violence related cases. The city police department also arrested three individuals involved in a bike theft ring of some pretty high-end bicycles.”

On July 12, 46-year-old Jerry Taylor was charged with possession and distribution of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a local elementary school. Taylor appeared in Missoula Justice Court before Judge Alex Beal and was released on his own recognizance directly into pretrial supervision. Members of the community were confused by this decision, but Marks explained the potential reasoning.

“We have very limited space in our jail,” Marks said. “Non-violent offenders are very likely to be released without bail because we don’t have space for them. The pretrial supervision program, I guess the way I would summarize it, is like being on probation. There is a pretrial supervision officer they have to report to, they can be subject to drug testing, there are home visits to make sure they are not getting into trouble at home, it is a fairly high level of monitoring.”

According to Marks, the meth problem in Missoula is not going away and things are ‘pretty bad’ right now.