Big Sky Death Update

On February 25, 2019, at 1408 hours, Big Sky Fire and Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of an unresponsive, cold to the touch, 32 year old female at a residence on Aspen Leaf Drive.

Whitney Versteeg was deceased and a subsequent investigation indicated the death was from Complications of Alcoholism.

 

Big Sky Death

  On February 25, 2019, Big Sky Fire and Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of an unresponsive, cold to the touch, 32 year old female.

  Whitney Versteeg was deceased and a subsequent investigation indicated the death was from natural causes.

 

Back Country Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont.)  On Thursday January 10, 2019 at 5:38 p.m., the West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch center received a 911 call reporting one lost and stuck snowmobiler. Three males were snowmobiling in an extreme backcountry area and became separated.  Two riders made it out to a safe location, and contacted 911 to report their friend missing and presumed stuck.  They were able to provide an approximate GPS location for the last known location of their friend.  They also reported that their friend had no overnight survival gear or any type of light source.

The lost snowmobiler, a 29 year-old male from Minnesota, was last reported in the Red Canyon area, 16 miles northwest of the Town of West Yellowstone. The GPS location showed the terrain to be very steep and heavily wooded.

Personnel from the Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone responded.  A group of eight rescue personnel responded on snowmobiles to the GPS location provided.

Rescuers made verbal contact with the man approximately four hours after the initial call.  Due to the hazardous terrain and deep snow conditions, the rescue teams needed another hour to reach him.  The male was uninjured and rescue personnel were able to load him on one of their snowmobiles and ride him back out to safety.  That ride back out took rescue personnel another two hours.  His snowmobile is still on the mountain.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind snowmobilers to be careful when recreating off trail and to know your limitations.  A fun adventure into the amazing backcountry areas can quickly turn into an emergency situation.  Always remember to ride with a partner, stay with your partner, carry a reliable means of communication in case of an emergency, and be prepared to survive the night if needed.

Telephone Scam

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous calls of a scam involving a caller identifying himself as Deputy or Detective Gilbert Lopez with the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. He states that there is a warrant for your arrest due to missing a court date. The caller further states that bail or payment must be made by purchasing Google Play Cards, Green Dot Cards, etc. This is a scam. Do not respond to any requests. The scammer is aggressive, convincing, and persistent.

As a friendly reminder the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office does not contact people asking for money.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving

Jail to Jobs Program

NEW ‘JAIL TO JOBS’ PROGRAM HELPING INMATES FIND WORK  

Bozeman – The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and the local Montana Job Service have worked together for years helping inmates find jobs upon release.  Now, that partnership has been solidified with the creation of a new program called ‘Jail to Jobs’, led by Gallatin Co. Detention Center Program Director Jackie Keery and Teri Knutson with the Bozeman Job Service.  ‘Jails to Jobs’ matches employers with inmates looking for work.

Friday, six employers were brought into the jail to interview 8 inmates for a total of 16 interviews. Three inmates already have a good possibility of being hired!  In addition, some employers are interested in starting pre-apprentice programs in the Detention Center.

With unemployment in Gallatin County under 2%, many employers are having a difficult time filling open vacancies.  ‘Jails to Jobs’ helps employers find employees and helps inmates find work.  “Jails to Jobs is a win-win,” said Sheriff Brian Gootkin,”We want these people working, taking care of their families and being productive members of society.  We don’t want them back in jail, we want those beds for bad people that hurt innocent victims.  This will also hopefully help our local businesses as well.”

If you are an employer interested in this program, please contact Teri at teknutson@mt.govt   

Drug Take Back Event Saturday, October 27

DON’T BE THE DEALER

On Saturday, October 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Law and Justice Center in Bozeman, 615 South 16th,  the Missouri River Drug Task Force will be partnering with the Alcohol & Drug Services of Gallatin County, Community-Coalition On Drug Awareness, Bozeman Elks Lodge #46, the Montana Elks Drug Awareness Program, Community Medical Services, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to offer the public its 16th opportunity in 7 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last spring Americans turned in 474.5 tons (949,046 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and over 4,600 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 15 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 10 million pounds – more than 4,900 tons – of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – both pose potential safety and health hazards.

PLEASE DO NOT GIVE US:

  • NEEDLES & SHARPS,
  • THERMOMETERS (MERCURY),
  • OXYGEN CONTAINERS,
  • PRESSURIZED CANISTERS
  • CHEMOTHERAPY/RADIOACTIVE SUBSTANCES

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 27 Take Back Day event, go to https://takebackday.dea.gov. 

Year-round “Prescription Drug Take Back” boxes are in place at these locations: 

MISSOURI RIVER DRUG TASK FORCE

Authorized Collection Box Sites  

Belgrade Police Department*

91 E. Central Avenue

Belgrade, MT  59714

Bozeman Police Department*

121 N. Rouse Avenue

Bozeman, MT  59715

Highland Park Pharmacy

525 Highland Blvd.

Bozeman, MT  59715

Helena Police Department & Lewis and Clark Sheriff

221 Breckenridge

Helena, MT  59601

Law & Justice Center

615 South 16th

Bozeman, MT  59715

Manhattan Police Department*

120 W. Main

Manhattan, MT  59741

Park County Sheriff

414 E. Callender St., Suite 2

Livingston, MT  59047

Town of West Yellowstone*

124 Yellowstone Ave.

West Yellowstone, MT 59759

 

*Prescription Drug Take-Back box

funded by Elks National Beacon Grant,

and placed by Bozeman Elks Lodge #463.

Scams Circulating Gallatin County

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous calls of a scam involving an email message on the victim’s computers. The scam email states they have hacked your email account and are viewing and tracking the sites you are visiting. The scammer intimates that the sites you are accessing are pornography related. The scammer states that they will release this information to your contact list if you do not pay them a monetary amount in “bitcoins.”

These scammers are aggressive, convincing and persistent. This is a scam. Your computer has not been hacked. Stating that you have been hacked is a ploy for them to get your money. Do not respond and delete the email.

OTHER SCAMS:

The IRS scam is also circulating. The caller states that you are delinquent in your taxes and warrant will be issued for you if you do not call them back at a number they provide. Upon calling the number, you are directed to purchase green dot cards or other gift cards as payment. Do not send any cards or money.

The Grandparent scam is also making its way around the county. The caller indicates they are your grandchild and they are in jail and need money for bail. You are directed to a “Financial” person who gives you instructions on the bail amount and how it is to be paid. Again, this is a scam. If you have any doubt that it may be your grandchild or a relative, verify with them or their parents.  Do not send any money or gift cards of any kind.

Drug Take Back Event

DON’T BE THE DEALER

On Saturday, October 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Law and Justice Center in Bozeman, 615 South 16th,  the Missouri River Drug Task Force will be partnering with the Alcohol & Drug Services of Gallatin County, Community-Coalition On Drug Awareness, Bozeman Elks Lodge #46, the Montana Elks Drug Awareness Program, Community Medical Services, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to offer the public its 16th opportunity in 7 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last spring Americans turned in 474.5 tons (949,046 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and over 4,600 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 15 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 10 million pounds – more than 4,900 tons – of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – both pose potential safety and health hazards.

PLEASE DO NOT GIVE US:

  • NEEDLES & SHARPS,
  • THERMOMETERS (MERCURY),
  • OXYGEN CONTAINERS,
  • PRESSURIZED CANISTERS
  • CHEMOTHERAPY/RADIOACTIVE SUBSTANCES

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 27 Take Back Day event, go to https://takebackday.dea.gov. 

Year-round “Prescription Drug Take Back” boxes are in place at these locations: 

MISSOURI RIVER DRUG TASK FORCE

Authorized Collection Box Sites  

Belgrade Police Department*

91 E. Central Avenue

Belgrade, MT  59714

Bozeman Police Department*

121 N. Rouse Avenue

Bozeman, MT  59715

Highland Park Pharmacy

525 Highland Blvd.

Bozeman, MT  59715

Helena Police Department & Lewis and Clark Sheriff

221 Breckenridge

Helena, MT  59601

Law & Justice Center

615 South 16th

Bozeman, MT  59715

Manhattan Police Department*

120 W. Main

Manhattan, MT  59741

Park County Sheriff

414 E. Callender St., Suite 2

Livingston, MT  59047

Town of West Yellowstone*

124 Yellowstone Ave.

West Yellowstone, MT 59759

*Prescription Drug Take-Back box

funded by Elks National Beacon Grant,

and placed by Bozeman Elks Lodge #463.

Sheriff’s Office Warns Of More Scams Circulating The Area

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received a number of complaints from citizens regarding various phone scams that are circulating the area. If you have questions about a scam or you receive a call from one of these scammers, please call the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office at 406-582-2100.

One scam involves a caller informing people who answer that they have criminal charges pending and to send money for these charges to be dropped. The scammer informs the person to call a number and arrange payment.  These callers are intimidating, convincing, and persistent. Please do not respond to their requests. The number they are calling from or that they ask you to call back is 406-219-5919. This number goes to a voice mail indicating you have reached the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. Do not call the number it is a bogus number.

The second type of scam involves callers impersonating someone from the Social Security Administration. They claim there is an issue with your social security card or your benefits. They ask for the last 4 digits of your SSN, your DOB, and other personal information. Do not give them any information. If you have questions, call the Social Security Administration directly or phone the Sheriff’s Office and ask about any scams. Do not call the number they give you.

Another scam involves callers impersonating a representative from the Dish Network stating there is an issue with the satellite communicating with your dish. The caller states you will have to pay them to have the issue fixed. Again, they ask for the last 4 digits of your SSN, your DOB, and other personal information. Do not give them any information. If you have questions, call the Dish Network # directly from the number on your statement, or phone the Sheriff’s Office and ask about any scams. Do not call the number they give you and do not give out any information.

Correction on GCSO Inmate Suicide

On Sunday July 22, 2018, 48-year-old Rodolfo Millan-Calderon committed suicide at the Gallatin County Detention Center. The Bozeman Police Department arrested Millan-Calderon Friday afternoon on a felony warrant from Cascade County Justice Court charging him with five counts of Incest.  His last listed residence was Great Falls.

At approximately 6:30 A.M., he was let out of his cell with other inmates for breakfast at which time he walked to the second level and jumped head first onto the floor below. Emergency medical efforts were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Because this was an in custody death we requested independent death and criminal investigations. Park County Coroner Al Jenkins was requested to take the case and determine cause and manner of death.  State law requires that a Coroner’s inquest be held.  The Montana Division of Criminal Investigation was requested to investigate any possible criminal acts.  Sheriff Gootkin stated, “There is no indication of any criminal act but we are going to make sure that this is fully and impartially investigated.”  This is an ongoing investigation therefore we cannot provide details of the incident but Sheriff Gootkin will be available for interviews and questions in the Detention Center community room at 3:00 P.M. today.