Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On April 7, 2024, at around 7:13 PM, a Missoula Police Department Officer was dispatched to the Walmart on Mullan Rd. for a report of a woman “receipt shopping”. When she arrived, she met with a Loss Prevention employee who stated the woman was currently at customer service, had come into the store, selected various items, and then used an old receipt to return some of the new items she had selected. 

The officer introduced herself and identified the woman as 36-year-old Vanessa Horne. The officer notified MPD dispatch of who she was with, and they informed her that Horne was on probation. After a short discussion, Horne admitted to fraudulently returning three items for $29.93. 

Probation requested that the officer complete a search of Horne and her purse that she had with her. The officer located car keys inside Horne’s coat pocket. Inside Horne’s purse, the officer located a small plastic baggie which Horne stated was old and unused from her previous drug usage. The officer also located multiple “tooter straws” and around $1,000 in cash. 

Horne’s Vehicle is Located 

The Walmart Loss Prevention Officer was then able to locate the vehicle that Horne had come to the store in. Probation then asked the officer to complete a search of the vehicle as well. Before searching the car, the officer asked Horne if she was going to find anything illegal in the car like drugs or drug paraphernalia, and she said there would be paraphernalia in the car. 

Once the officer began her search, she located a small weight scale and a metal tin with a white powder residue. She then located 20-30 small plastic baggies and a tourniquet. She then found a larger black bag on the back passenger seat that contained lighters, tooter straws, tinfoil with burnt residue, and a plastic bag that had been tapped up with black tape and had a brown residue on it. 

At this time, the officer called probation back to inform them of what she had found, and they requested Horne be arrested on a probation violation.  

According to court documents, Horne’s car had obvious signs that multiple panels had been manipulated. Although nothing was located inside those compartments, the officer knows that signs of tampering with car compartments and panels is an indication that someone may be using the car to transport illegal items, like drugs, and hiding those items inside those compartments to avoid detection. 

READ MORE: Missoula News - Crime Reports

In total, the following items were seized from the vehicle: 

  • 57 small plastic baggies. 
  • A small weight scale with a metal tin with white residue. 
  • Another small weight scale. 
  • Two tourniquets. 
  • Two pieces of Tinfoil with burnt residue. 
  • Multiple lighters. 
  • Two plastic “tooter” straws. 
  • 476 ½ suspected Fentanyl pills. 
  • 38.69g of presumptive positive Methamphetamine. 
  • 34 suspected Clonazepam pills. 

Based on the officer’s training and experience, she knows that the presence of large amounts of dangerous drugs like this, combined with the presence of small baggies, weight scales, and large amounts of cash in small denominations like 20’s, is indicative of the distribution of dangerous drugs. 

Horne is currently being charged with felony criminal distribution of dangerous drugs and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.  

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable. 

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