Montana Casino Site of Alleged Meth Arrest, Suspect Gave Fake Name

Posted on: December 14, 2022, 07:01h. 

Last updated on: December 14, 2022, 12:45h.

A man was arrested last week after a bag of suspected methamphetamine (meth) fell to the floor at a Montana gaming property. The suspect picked it up and was later apprehended.

A Missoula Police Department cruiser
A Missoula Police Department cruiser, pictured above. Officers arrested Austin Janssen after a bag of suspected meth fell to the floor at a local casino. (Image: Missoula Police Department)

The incident began on Friday morning at the unnamed Missoula casino, KGVO, a local radio station, reported. The suspect was acting suspiciously after he picked up the bag, the report said.

Missoula Police Department Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold said the police arrived at the casino and stopped the suspect as he tried to leave. He identified himself to officers with what later he admitted was a false name. He turned out to be Austin Janssen.

Janssen was charged with criminal possession of dangerous drugs, obstructing a police officer, and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, KGVO said.

He initially told police the bag he dropped contained marijuana. But the casino employee said the substance in the bag was crystal-like, the report said. Meth is crystal-like. Marijuana has a different color and texture.

After he was arrested, police searched Janssen and found suspected illegal drugs. An initial test revealed the substance was meth and a pill was pressed with suspected fentanyl, the report said.

Later, when speaking to police, Janssen said he got the meth from someone at a local hotel, KGVO said.

Janssen also told cops he was wanted on a felony warrant and wanted to avoid being placed in jail, the report said.

Prior Meth Arrests

Nationwide, casinos have been associated with meth arrests.

In March three suspects were arrested at California’s Chicken Ranch Casino for drug possession. A security guard at the tribal casino spotted what turned out to be more than 40 grams of suspected fentanyl and some meth in their possession.

Erik Seth Odle, 26, of Modesto had 27 grams of suspected fentanyl stored in small bags, suspected meth, empty bags, and about $1,000 cash, the local sheriff’s office said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Odle was charged with possessing drugs for sale, transporting drugs for sale between counties, possessing drugs while carrying a loaded firearm, being an addict in possession of a firearm, and possessing drug paraphernalia.

Madison Davis, 28, also of Modesto, and Dustyn Davis, 29, of Tracy were with Odle at the casino and also searched by deputies. The deputies found the duo had drug paraphernalia, 13 grams of suspected fentanyl, and some suspected meth. Deputies cited both suspects for possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia, the sheriff’s office said.

Suspected Meth Spotted in Jail

In April, a 28-year-old Iowa woman faced two narcotics charges after a plastic bag containing suspected meth fell from her clothes. Initially, Christine Larson of Sanborn was arrested on unrelated warrants while at the parking lot of Larchwood, Iowa’s Grand Falls Casino.

A deputy transported Larson to a nearby jail. When she was getting processed and changed into inmate clothing, the plastic bag fell onto the floor. The bag’s contents later tested positive for meth, reported KIWA, an Iowa radio station.

Charges in both cases appear to be pending in local courts.