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Luis Alfredo Garza

Luis Alfredo Garza appears in Missoula County Justice Court by video on Monday.

Memory of a past arrest helped a Missoula County sheriff’s deputy recognize a man suspected of distributing drugs "fronted" by a supplier in Washington state.

Louis Alfredo Garza, 27, appeared in Missoula County Justice Court on Monday, charged with a felony count of possession of methamphetamine, and misdemeanor charges of possession of less than 60 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and obstructing a peace officer.

Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech ordered Garza held pending $50,000 bail.

According to an affidavit filed by Deputy Missoula County Attorney Shawn Donovan, Deputy William Burt stopped a car for traffic violations Friday.

The driver initially gave Burt another name, but Burt found a booking photo of Garza that prompted him to give his real name. Burt also remembered Garza had been arrested six months earlier in possession of methamphetamine and about $13,000 suspected of coming from distributing the drug, according to the affidavit.

Burt got permission to search the car and found a glass pipe and a plastic baggie with a small amount of marijuana, Donovan stated in the affidavit.

Garza was arrested, and during the booking process, officers found $1,140 in cash and another baggie containing methamphetamine in his coat, according to the affidavit.

“Mr. Garza subsequently admitted he had been ‘fronted’ the drug by a supplier in Washington state for resale in Montana,” Donovan wrote. 

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Natural Resources & Environment Reporter

Natural Resources Reporter for The Missoulian.