Four Corners Burglary


At approximately 11:00 A.M. this morning The Gallatin County 911 Dispatch Center received a report of a Burglary in progress at 2591 Magenta Road in the Four Corners area. 

Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Montana Highway Patrol responded to the area.  Responding Emergency Personnel apprehended one juvenile male, who is in custody.  The investigation is ongoing.  Please contact Sheriff Gootkin with any further questions.

Brian M. Gootkin

Sheriff Brian M. Gootkin
Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
615 South 16th
Bozeman, MT  59715
(406) 582-2125
Fax    582-2126

Spring Fire Season? – Fire Danger is High!

After two wildland fires in the Fort Ellis Fire Service Area in the past week, fire officials are urging residents to be more aware of the potential for fires to start and spread rapidly. According to Mike Cech, Chief of the Fort Ellis Fire Department, it is common to have wildland fires in the early spring.

“People normally think about the danger of wildland fires later in the summer, after things dry out. The spring can be just as bad because of the dead vegetation left after the winter. This spring seems to be especially bad because of the general lack of moisture”, Chief Cech said.

Although open burning has been allowed since the beginning of March, residents can really help their local volunteer departments by being extra cautious or by waiting until after vegetation greens-up when planning controlled burns. Residents are also reminded that burn permits are required for outside open burning.

Gallatin County Burn Permits can be obtained at


Crime Spree

On April 1, 2013, the Belgrade Police Department and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office began to receive reports of vehicles and businesses in the River Rock, Frontage Road West and Belgrade areas being vandalized with a pellet gun.  Both LE agencies mobilized additional patrols.  On April 3, 2013, the Belgrade Police and Gallatin County Sheriff worked collectively and three males were taken into custody for Felony Criminal Mischief.  Jonathan R. Lopez, Alexander Cantu, and Jacob Toledo are currently being held on $5000 bond each at the Gallatin County Detention Center.  To date there are well over 100 victims and damage estimates are in the tens of thousands.  If anyone needs to report damage please contact their respective law enforcement agency contact below.


Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office / Detective Dane Vranish   582-2121

Belgrade Police Department / Detective Division                  388-4262



Brian M. Gootkin

Sheriff Brian M. Gootkin
Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
615 South 16th
Bozeman, MT  59715
(406) 582-2125
Fax    582-2126

Law Enforcement Seeking Information on Crime Spree

(Belgrade, Mt.) Belgrade Police and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office are seeking information on the following incident;

On the evening hours of Monday April 1, 2013 and the early morning hours of April 2,  over one hundred and ten vehicles in the River Rock, Frontage Road West and Belgrade areas were shot with a Beebe or pellet gun.  Gallatin County Deputies so far have taken over fifty calls reporting damage and the Belgrade Police Department have taken over sixty complaints.  It is estimated that the value of the damage caused to these vehicles may reach as high as $20,000.  The photos of the suspect vehicle are included with this release.  It appears the vehicle may be a Reddish/Maroon Subaru hatchback or similar vehicle.  All of the lights on the rear of the vehicle appear to be working including the license plate light and a brake light in the upper rear window.        

Anyone with information should call the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Dispatch at 582-2100 option #2 or the Belgrade Police Department at 388-4262 or can remain annonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 586-1131.  Callers may be eligable for a cash reward. 



Fatality Story Mill Road


On March 29th at 8:05 PM the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a fatality accident on Story Mill Road. The deceased was identified as 17 year-old Alec Fesler of Missoula. The accident investigation is being conducted by the Bozeman Police Department.

Controlled Burners Urged to Utilize Caution

GCEM Media Release

Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, 406-582-2395

People in the Gallatin Valley conducting controlled burns are encouraged to do so in a safe manner as fires can easily get out of control this time of year.  After the snow melts the grasses are often quite dry and fires can grow out of control very quickly.  When fire is provided continous fuel (grass) and wind, they are very capable of rapid growth that can outpace the burners ability to control leading to extensive property damage.  Historically this area will see fires around this time of year followed by a slow down as the grass greens up, then fire potential will increase as the grass drys back out throughout the summer months.

Individuals conducting a controlled burn with a Gallatin County Burn Permit are encouraged to follow these tips:

  • Don’t set more on fire than you can control.
  • Always be onsite while burning and until the fire is completely out.
  • Always have a method to extinguish the fire (hose, water truck, disk, etc…).
  • Always create a buffer around your fire that is clear of vegetation.
  • Think twice about burning if it is windy out (can it wait until conditions are in your favor).
  • Have a method to call 911 if the fire gets out of control, and call as soon as it gets out of control.

Gallatin County Burn Permits can be obtained at


Skier Rescued at 9,600′ on Mount Blackmore

On Sunday March 31, 2013, at approximately 2:20 pm, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team with American Medical Response, and Carisch Helicopters responded to Blackmore Mountain trail head in Hyalite Canyon for an injured skier. The 21 year old Bozeman skier had fallen into some rocks on the 10,052′ tall mountain and injured his back, ribs and hip. The victim was skiing with four other companions when the accident occurred. A partner was able to contact the Gallatin County Dispatch Center to report the incident to dispatch assisting agencies. A command post was set up at the Blackmore trail head where personnel from all the organizations staged. Carisch Helicopters then transported members of the S&R Heli-Alpine team to the summit of the ridge and they skied to the victim to offer assistance and medical aid at 9,600′ of elevation. The victim was stabilized then transported by a litter that was lowered by ropes approximately 900 feet to a landing zone where the helicopter had landed. He was then taken by the helicopter to the command post and transferred to the ambulance and taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. The victim’s condition is currently not known.


Sheriff Gootkin stated that this time of year can be especially hazardous when skiing backcountry terrain. Bad snow and exposed rocks make for tricky skiing. It is especially important to be prepared for emergencies in these conditions.


Photo and video courtesy of Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, JD Ellington. If you are having trouble viewing the pictures or video go to

Carisch Helicopters with long line VIdeo

Rescuers Stage at Hyalite Dam



Two Top Mountain Rescue


          On Sunday, March 24th, 2013, around 2:00 pm, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and the West Yellowstone Division of Gallatin County Search and Rescue responded to a backcountry rescue.  A 26 year old female from Costa Rica was riding a snowmobile near Two Top Mountain when she left the trail and struck a tree.  The female suffered a broken arm and complained of pain in her neck, back, and knees.  Another rider in the injured female’s group called the company that they had rented the snowmobiles from to report the incident.  The rental company reported the incident to 911.

           Employees of the rental company located the injured snowmobiler and waited on scene with her until search and rescue members arrived.  Search and rescue members provided first aid on scene.  They then packaged the female in a rescue warming bag to keep her warm during the transit out of the back country.  The female was transported via a specialized rescue sled towed behind a search and rescue snow machine.  Rescuers transferred the female to a waiting Hebgen Basin Fire Department ambulance.

           The Gallatin County Sheriff’s office would like to remind backcountry users to exercise caution when enjoying the outdoors.  Have a means of communication with you at all times and notify rescue services by the quickest means possible in case of an emergency.

Palisade Falls Rescue



On Sunday, March 24, 2013, at approximately 4:45 pm, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Gallatin County Search and Rescue, and American Medical Response responded to Palisade Falls trailhead in Hyalite Canyon for an injured ice climber.  The ice climber had fallen to the ground from a height of fifteen feet resulting in an injury to his ankle.  The victim and his climbing partner attempted to self-rescue for over an hour before the partner returned to the trailhead alone to alert emergency responders.  Search and rescue personnel were able to reach, assess, stabilize, and transport the patient back to the trailhead by 6:45 pm.  The injured climber was subsequently transported to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for evaluation.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind backcountry users to always bring gear appropriate for unexpected emergencies.  After the initial fall, the secondary threat to this climber’s safety was hypothermia.  A sleeping bag and insulating pad are small, light pieces of equipment could be used in similar situations to keep an injured or lost backcountry user from becoming cold while waiting for rescue.

Fatality Accident


On March 18th, 2013 at approximately 0730 hours, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the intersection of Stucky Road and Cottonwood Road for a reported 2 vehicle injury accident. Three people were transported to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. The Gallatin County Coroner’s Office was contacted by Bozeman Deaconess Hospital regarding one of the individuals who had died due to their injuries. The Coroner’s office identified the deceased as 44 year old Christine Adams of Bozeman. The Coroner’s office has scheduled an autopsy with the State of Montana forensic pathologist. The Montana Highway Patrol is investigating the traffic Accident.