A traffic stop by Montana Highway Patrol in Sanders County left troopers suspecting the people were involved in sex trafficking.
Russell Bruce Clark, 24, was initially charged with two felony counts for possessing dangerous drugs and for the intent to sell dangerous drugs.
He later pleaded guilty on the possession charge and received a 5-year sentence to the Montana Department of Corrections with credit for 175 days time served. The charge of drug possession with intent to sale was dismissed.
Clark remains locked up in the Sanders County Jail.
While investigating officers suspected sex trafficking, there wasn’t enough evidence to file a charge.
According to court documents, the case began last fall when a Mineral County Sheriff’s Office deputy was transporting to inmates from Sanders to Mineral County and was nearly involved in a head-on crash on Montana 135.
When a Highway Patrol Trooper got the call, he headed to the area and located the vehicle on Montana 200. He stopped the vehicle and spoke with Clark, who was driving. Inside the vehicle were two passengers, both young women, aged 18 and 19.
Clark said he didn’t have a driver’s license because it was suspended in Washington, but he said he owned the car, although he didn’t have any bill of sale or the title with him.
When the trooper asked the woman in the front passenger seat who the driver was she said “Russell” but also said she didn’t know his last name despite identifying herself as his girlfriend.
Clark said the woman in the front seat was his ex-girlfriend and the one in the back seat was “Destiny” but he didn’t know her last name. Clark said he and his ex-girlfriend left Spokane the previous night to pick up “Destiny” in Portland. Then they intended to drive to Destiny’s home in Rollins, Montana.
The 19-year-old woman was identified as Destiny Jorgenson, who was charged with drug possession and stolen property in Flathead County in May 2019, according to media reports.
When the trooper spoke to both women there seemed to be some confusion about where one of them was picked up and where they were headed. “Destiny” later said her home was in Kalispell.
The trooper noticed a lot of makeup on both women’s faces as well as glitter and fake eyelashes. He also didn’t see any luggage in the car.
When the trooper ran a records check on the trio, Clark and “Destiny” each had prior drug activity. Another trooper arrived at the scene and both spoke to the women, both of whom seemed to be under the influence of an unknown substance.
Both women said they weren’t involved in sex trafficking but looked down when they answered, according to the troopers.
Clark was on probation in Washington for selling methamphetamine and was not allowed to travel across state lines.
After officers got a warrant to search the car, inside a backpack they found two electronic scales, several small, green plastic baggies, a computer, pipes for smoking meth and marijuana, a baggie containing black tar heroin and a baggie with uncut crystal meth.