Man gets 3 years for meth possession with intent to sell

By: 
Marlo Pronovost
Thursday, November 21, 2019
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      Greg Wolfblack

A Billings man will spend three years in state custody for a methamphetamine case that was discovered by four local law enforcement officers at the Columbus Town Pump in March of 2019.

Greg Alan Wolfblack, 47, appeared in district court recently for sentencing on one felony count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Wolfblack was given an 8-year DOC sentence with five years suspended, as well as $1,585 in fines and fees. He must also follow 27 court-imposed conditions when he is released from state custody.

Wolfblack told 22nd District Judge Matt Wald that he is an addict who needs help.

“I don’t ever want to be back in here again,” Wolfblack told Wald.

Wald said the sentence provides for accountability, treatment options, public safety and gives the court options should problems arise in the future.

Wolfblack has one prior felony conviction, according to his attorney Greg Paskell.

Co-defendant Darla Marie Barsness has not yet been sentenced.

According to the Montana Department of Corrections (DOC), Barsness is a registered violent offender who is currently listed as “non-compliant/address verification overdue” on the state Sexual Violent Offender Registry.

Barsness’s criminal history includes convictions for aggravated kidnapping, aggravated felony assault and use of a dangerous weapon. Those charges stemmed from the 1996 baseball bat beating of a man over drugs in Gallatin County, in which the victim suffered a fractured skull. Barsness was sentenced to 20 years in prison for her role in the kidnapping and assault.

 

THE CASE

According to court documents, on March 14, the pair drew the attention of four local law enforcement officers who were eating at the Columbus Town Pump when Barsness drove a pickup truck without a front license plate into the parking lot, and then moved locations to the northeast side of the business. Barsness then moved the truck yet again to the west side of the building.

“Because local law enforcement is aware of the drug traffic which occurs in the Town Pump vicinity, as well as it being common place to recover stolen vehicles,” Columbus Police Officers Jason Ferguson and Aaron Uecker and Stillwater County Sheriff Deputies Cactus Anderson and Corporal Clay Waltner continued to watch the truck. The truck was found behind the Super 8 Motel, which is an area “known by law enforcement for illegal drug activity,” according to court documents.

When the truck appeared on Eighth Avenue and headed toward the I-90 onramp, Deputy Anderson made a traffic stop.

Barsness was aware there was an outstanding warrant for her arrest and knew she was driving without a valid license and insurance.

Barsness consented to a search of the truck and found in it were the following:

-An ear bud case containing 29.2 grams of suspected meth

-A 50-caliber handgun

-A red makeup bag containing two needles, a glass pipe and two cell phones

-A baggy that appeared to contain meth residue

-A scale containing residue

-A bag containing three empty baggies of suspected meth residue and two straws

-A clean needle in the center console

-Multiple broken pipes in the center console

-Two glass pipes

-Multiple baggies

-One homemade rubber to metal tube pipe

Barsness told officers different stories and in the end, said she had driven from Billings to Bozeman to see her sister, and was on her way back to Billings. When asked where she had gotten the drugs, Barsness denied having drugs. She also admitted to having used meth by smoking it, according to court documents. When told about the 29.2 grams of meth found in the truck, Wolfblack said, “It’s not mine,” according to court documents.

A deputy noted that Wolfblack, who admitted to using meth, appeared to be under the influence of a drug and was “sweating and smelled metallic, his tongue smacked when he spoke and his muscle tone was rigid,” according to court documents.

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