Local found guilty on drug charges

On March 24, Kenneth James Ulrich was found guilty of criminal possession with intent to distribute, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and reckless driving. 

Ulrich appeared in 16th Judicial District Court before Judge Michael Hayworth.

Count one is a felony, and count two and three are misdemeanors. 

Ulrich was represented by Public Defender Joseph Zatvatsky.

According to court documents, on February 19, 2015 at the Ace Hardware parking lot, Ulrich was pulled over by Miles City Police Sgt. Kord Merical. 

According to testimony by Sgt. Merical, he along with Officer Christopher Fetty, was called to City Brew on a suspicious persons call. While looking into the call, Merical noticed a vehicle driving into the parking lot recklessly. 

The officers pulled over Ulrich’s vehicle, a 2014 Dodge Dart, by Big Sky Carwash.

While questioning the suspect, Merical said he smelled the presence of marijuana and saw drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle.

Ulrich was arrested and his vehicle was impounded at Jack’s Body Shop, according to court documents. On February 26, Merical obtained a search warrant for Ulrich’s vehicle. Once the warrant was obtained, Merical, Fetty and Capt. Casey Prell searched the vehicle. The officers reportedly found a black backpack containing individually packaged methamphetamine among other items. 

The maximum penalty for criminal possession with intent to distribute is imprisonment with Montana Department of Corrections for no longer than 20 years and a $50,000 fine. The maximum penalty of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia is imprisonment in county jail for no more than six months and a $500 fine. The maximum penalty for reckless driving is a potential of incarceration of no more than 90 days, with fines of at least $25 but no more than $300. 

No sentencing hearing has been scheduled.