Gallatin County Capable of Wireless Emergency Alerts

GCEM Media Release

Release:  161228-01
Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, (406) 582-2395

Gallatin County Capable of Wireless Emergency Alerts

Bozeman, MT – With the arrival of the Community Notification System Gallatin County is now one of only a handful of counties in Montana that can generate Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) during an emergency.  WEA’s allow emergency officials to send emergency messages to any cell phone in a defined area without the need for cell phones being registered or downloading an app.  This operates in the same way as AMBER Alerts where the phones will alert and display an emergency message.

Patrick Lonergan, Gallatin County Emergency Manager explains, “This is a great step forward in alerting with our ability to activate an alert on any cell phone in the alerting area.  Now we can reach out to visitors, as well as residents who have not registered in the Community Notification System.”  While Wireless Emergency Alerts bring a great advance in alerting to the county, the system is not perfect and is still being refined by industry and the Federal Emergency Management Administration.  Limitations in the message length, content and size of the alerting area currently exist with WEA.  Many of these limitations are currently under revision and will likely be refined over the next couple years.

Despite the ability for agencies in Gallatin County to send a WEA message to cell phones, we still encourage all residents to register with the Community Notification System at  The best way to ensure you and your family are alerted is to register with the Community Notification System as WEAs are generally only used for large wide spread events.  “Wireless Emergency Alerts are great at reaching large numbers of people in widespread emergencies, but until the WEA system is refined over the next couple years the best bet to ensure you are alerted for an emergency is registering directly in the Community Notification System.” according to Patrick Lonergan.

While WEAs appears to many like a fancy text message, it is actually much more complex.  Wireless Emergency Alerts became possible in Gallatin County with the new Community Notification System and its integration with FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).  IPAWS is a collaborative system that allows authenticated users to generate emergency messages and instantly hand those off as a verified message to a multitude of partners for distribution.  When the cellular providers receive the verified message they automatically send the message as a Wireless Emergency Alert to all the cellular phones currently associated with a cell tower in the defined alerting area.  To avoid system overload the WEA messages are sent as a single message that all cell phones receive at the same time rather than a specific message to each phone.



Holiday DUI Patrols in the Gallatin Valley


December 20, 2016

Holiday DUI Patrols in the Gallatin Valley:

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over December 14 through January 1

Gallatin County —  On December 17, 2016 from 8:00 p.m. to 02:00 a.m. several local agencies participated in a Multi – Agency patrol to reduce D.U.I. drivers and promote the use of safety belts in Gallatin County. This patrol is part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown.

The agencies involved were the Montana Highway Patrol, Bozeman Police Department, Belgrade Police Department, Montana State University Police Department and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

These agencies put 13 extra Officers on streets and roadways of Gallatin County in an attempt to locate D.U.I. drivers and prevent a tragedy from taking place.  The weather was less than perfect as the temperatures fell to below -18. However, the officers worked hard to provide a safer Gallatin Valley and managed to produce the following numbers.

D.U.I. Arrests:                   3            Total Citations:  19

Suspended Driver:          1            Total Warnings: 50

Drug Related Arrest:      1            Total Stops:        69

Total Arrests                      5


We are committed to reducing D.U.I. and raising awareness about wearing your safety belt. We will be working more of these joint patrols in the future.


We are continuing to ask drivers and members of the public to do their part to save lives and prevent injuries on the roads. Here are some tips this holiday season:

  • Alcohol can enhance the side effects of medication. Avoid mixing alcohol with any medications, and ask your doctor about possible consequences of doing so.
  • If you plan to drink at a party, bar or restaurant, have a sober friend do the driving, or find another alternative.
  • Expect your friends and family to have a sober driver and let them know it.
  • Provide safe transportation for your party guests—as well as non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Call 9-1-1 to report an impaired driver.
  • The best defense against a drunk driver is wearing a seatbelt – everyone, every trip, every time.

These traffic safety patrols are funded by the Montana Department of Transportation. This and other enforcement and education campaigns are combined under Vision Zero, the shared vision for zero deaths and zero serious injuries on Montana roadways.  For more information Contact Charity Watt, Montana Department of Transportation 406-444-3439,

Please Drink Responsibly – Don’t Drink and Drive – Use a Designated Driver

HAPPY HOLIDAYS – From your local Law Enforcement

Sheriff Brian Gootkin         Chief Dennis Hengel          Chief Steve Crawford

Gallatin County Sheriff       Manhattan Police Dept.   Bozeman Police Dept.      


Chief E. J. Clark Jr.             Chief Robert Putzke       Captain Mark Wilfore

Belgrade Police Dept.          MSU Police                       MHP


 Chief Scott Newell     

West Yellowstone Police Dept.   

Statewide AMBER Alert Test Scheduled for January 13


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | December 21, 2016
Montana AMBER Alert Coordinator Jennifer Viets, 406-444-2483,
DOJ Deputy Communications Director Anastasia Burton, 406-444-9869,

Statewide AMBER Alert Test Scheduled for January 13
Test Scheduled for National AMBER Alert Day

HELENA – The Montana Department of Justice (DOJ) is notifying the public a statewide test of the Montana AMBER Alert System has been scheduled for National AMBER Alert Day – January 13, 2017 at approximately 10:00 am.  This will be an end-to-end live system test and should include cell phone alerting.
The public should be aware Montana’s AMBER Alert system uses two types of cell phone notifications:

•       The first type of cellular alert is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert Warning System (IPAWS) Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) which broadcasts a loud tone and sends a short text message.  This is the same system used to broadcast Presidential Emergency messages.  Every cellular phone in the AMBER Alert area should receive this message if they have not disabled the alert.  If citizens do not receive this alert, they should contact their cell phone carrier.
•       The second type of cellular alert comes from CodeRED and allows more detailed AMBER Alert information to be distributed, including photographs.  However, in order to receive these cellular alerts, citizens must download the free CodeRED application available at:

Montana’s AMBER Alert system is activated to alert the public when law enforcement believes a child has been abducted under life-threatening circumstances.  “The upcoming test of our AMBER Alert system is key to maintaining  this life-saving notification tool for Montana’s missing children,” Attorney General Tim Fox said.  “We know that the first few hours after an abduction are the most critical for a kidnapped child’s safe return.  Citizen tips are vital for Montana’s law enforcement agencies as they work to recover children and arrest kidnapping suspects,” Attorney General Fox added.

Since Montana’s AMBER Alert Program was established in 2003, there have been 32 AMBER Alerts issued; seven of them were for abductions that occurred in other states or Canada.  Due to strong public participation, all 47 children were located.  Tragically, four were located deceased:  Two were murdered in cases that started in Idaho and Canada respectively; one child was the victim of an accidental death; and one child was murdered in Montana last year.

Last summer, DOJ announced it began using CodeRED to issue Montana’s AMBER Alerts and Missing Endangered Person Advisories (MEPAs), thanks to a generous donation by the Town Pump Foundation, which made the switch to the new alert system possible.

Montana’s AMBER Alert system is effective in large part because of the dedicated partnership among Montana law enforcement, the Montana Broadcasters Association and media, the Montana National Weather Service, and several state agencies including the Montana Department of Justice, the Montana Department of Transportation, the Montana Department of Administration, and the Montana Lottery, as well as Montana’s citizens.


Search Warrant Being Executed on Suspect Methamphetamine Lab Near Gallatin Gateway

(Gallatin County, Mont.) Sheriff’s Deputies from the Missouri River Drug Task Force are currently executing a search warrant on Garnet Mountain Way near Gallatin Gateway.  Investigators from the Drug Task Force have recently developed information about a suspected clandestine meth lab in a residence.  A search warrant was obtained and is being executed.  The manufacture of methamphetamine involves the use of volatile and toxic chemicals.   Because of the potential for chemical hazards the Bozeman Fire Department’s regional hazardous materials team is on scene along with Gallatin Gateway Fire Department and AMR ambulance.  There is no know hazard to the public at this time.

The Missouri River Drug Task Force is a 6 county investigation team made up of Sheriff’s Deputies, local Police and Federal Officers focused on drug enforcement and is administered by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.  Follow-up questions can be directed to Sheriff’s Captain Ryan Stratman at 582-2104#####

If we can’t REACH you, we can’t ALERT you!

GCEM Media Release

Release:  161221-01
Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, (406) 582-2395

If we can’t REACH you, we can’t ALERT you!

Bozeman, MT – Gallatin County launches new “If we can’t REACH you, we can’t ALERT you!” campaign for emergency notifications.  Gallatin County has launched the Community Notification System, as an upgrade to our old mass notification system, to better meet the notification needs of our community.  The Community Notification System provides many new options for people in Gallatin County to receive emergency notifications that previously were not available to emergency officials.

People can now choose many different options on how to be alerted, but they must register in the Community Notification System so we know how to notify them.  Patrick Lonergan, Gallatin County Emergency Manager explains, “It used to be everyone had land line telephones associated with a physical address.  However today this is the minority and people use a large variety of different tools, not associated with an address, to communicate.  With the Community Notification System we can now send emergency notifications to people the way they want, but they have to tell us what those are.”

People can learn more about alerting with the Community Notification System, and register, at  Emergency officials in Gallatin County will always do our best to get critical information to those who need it, and with the help of our community registering the notifications will be even quicker.

Remember: If we can’t REACH you, we can’t ALERT you!


Scam Circulating

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received a number of complaints from citizens regarding a scam that is occurring within Gallatin County. The caller informs the person who answers that they have criminal charges pending and to send money for these charges to be stopped. The Caller ID may indicate the phone number is 406-582-2125.  Although this number is the number to the Sheriff’s Office, it is a scam.  Additionally, the caller may identify themselves as a member of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. These phone calls are not originating from our office. Please do not respond to their requests.


Arrest made in Four Corners Armed Robbery


(Bozeman, Mont.) Wednesday night Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office arrested Marcus Venturini, a 20-year-old Bozeman resident, for the armed robbery of Casey’s Corner gas station on 26 November. The Sheriff would like to thank the public for their assistance with this case.

The text of the official charging document or Affidavit of Probable Cause appears below:

On November 26, 2016 at approximately 2354 hours Gallatin County Dispatch received a 911 call from 81855 Gallatin Road (Casey’s Corner Gas Station) employee Joseph Grove reporting a robbery in progress.

Your Affiant is aware Grove reported that a male entered the 81855 Gallatin Road store, had knives on his person at that time, and took all the money out of the registers and safe. Your Affiant is aware Grove reported the suspect male fled from the rear of the store after a customer entered.

Your Affiant was the on-call Detective on November 26, 2016 and was dispatched to the location of 81855 Gallatin Road. This address lies wholly within Gallatin County Montana.

Your Affiant is aware that Gallatin County Deputies and Bozeman Police officers responded to the robbery and immediately set up a perimeter of the business. Your Affiant is aware that Deputy Tim Clark and Deputy Randy Schott secured the business with Grove restricting any and all access to the business.

Your Affiant interviewed Grove and learned the following information. Grove reported the male to be between 5 feet 8 inches tall and 5 feet 10 inches tall. Grove reported the male to be slender build wearing a grey shirt with a tan jacket and khaki pants. Grove reported the suspect was wearing a mask but believed he had “dishwater” blonde hair and a deeper voice.

Grove reported that he heard a noise coming from the storage room and went to investigate. Grove reported he entered the hallway near the bathroom and observed the suspect standing in the doorway of the storage room with two large black handled knives that were approximately 12 inches in length. Grove reported the suspect ordered him into the storage room and made Grove empty his pockets in an attempt to locate Grove’s cellular telephone. Grove reported his phone to be in his coat pocket in the employee closet.

Grove informed your Affiant the suspect threatened him with the knives and told him not to “do anything stupid.” Grove reported he felt threatened and knew he could be hurt as a result of the encounter.

Grove reported the suspect then returned to the store and took all the money from the cash registers and also from the safe. Grove reported the suspect returned several times during the robbery to check on him and to make sure he wasn’t “doing something stupid”. Grove reports he remained in the storage room because he didn’t want to get hurt by the suspect. Grove reported he waited until he watched suspect leave out the back door of the business. Grove reports a customer entered the store and he retrieved his cell phone to call 911.

Your Affiant is aware that store manager Samantha Riffe had been contacted and was present at the store. Your Affiant and Riffe went into the business office and reviewed video surveillance from the multiple surveillance cameras present both inside and outside the business. Your Affiant observed a white male approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall enter the store and walk straight into the bathroom. The suspect matched the description provided by Grove. He was wearing a light grey or tan sweater with dark khaki or coyote colored pants and greyish blue shoes with white laces. The suspect was wearing a dark blue or dark grey ski beanie.

Your Affiant observed the suspect stop in front of a surveillance camera with his head down looking at a white cellular telephone. Your Affiant observed from another camera angle when the suspect entered the hallway that the suspect cellular phone was white but appeared to have either grey or blue markings on the cell phone case. Your Affiant observed the suspect holding the phone close to his face suggesting he had poor eye sight or a possible damaged phone screen.

Your Affiant watched the suspect remain in the bathroom for a short period of time before exiting the bathroom and entering the storage room. Your Affiant observed the suspect had pulled the beanie down over his face revealing a ski mask. Your Affiant observed the store employee walk towards the storage room.

Your Affiant observed the suspect exit the storage room wielding two large black handled kitchen knives that were approximately 10-12 inches in length. Your Affiant observed the suspect remove the key for the gas station’s cash registers from a hook hanging on the counter between the registers. Your Affiant observed the suspect open both cash registers and remove money from within and place it into a white plastic bag he took from the counter. Your Affiant observed the suspect take money from a safe located underneath the counter on the east side of the counter, as well.

Riffe informed your Affiant that only someone familiar with their system would know how to retrieve money from their safe. Riffe suggested the robber possibly to be an ex or current employee.

Your Affiant witnessed the suspect return to the storage area to check on the employee several times and then return to the safe several times. Your Affiant observed the suspect enter into the office area and search the office for money. Riffe informed your Affiant she believed that the suspect was a current or past employee because of his actions and where he was looking for money.

Your Affiant witnessed the suspect again return to the safe, the storage room, and the office several more times to vend and search for money. Your Affiant witnessed the suspect point the two large knifes towards the storage room where the employee was in a threatening manner. Your Affiant is aware the suspect remained in the store approximately seventeen (17) minutes.

Your Affiant observed a member of the public drive into the front of the gas station and eventually enter the store. Your Affiant observed that the suspect was vending money from the safe when the customer pulled into the gas station. Your Affiant observed the suspect stand up, remove his mask and calmly but quickly walk out of the store, exiting through the under construction casino portion of the store. Your Affiant was able to capture a screen shot image of the suspects face which was later provided in a press release.

Your Affiant observed the suspect had nearly shoulder length dark blonde hair. Your Affiant observed the suspect was clean shaven with no facial hair and appeared somewhat muscular and in his early twenties.

On December 06, 2016 your Affiant released several images of the suspect in a press release asking for assistance from the public in identifying the suspect. Your Affiant is aware Deputy Jonathan Olson took the report and forwarded the information to your Affiant.

Your Affiant is aware identified the suspect as Marcus Venturini. Your Affiant is aware the identifying person reported Marcus had longer dark blonde hair and physical features that matched the pictures provided to the press. Your Affiant is aware the citizen reported that Venturini worked at Casey’s Corner until he recently quit. Your Affiant is aware the citizen reported Venturini to have a white cellular telephone that he believed to be a galaxy phone with a cracked screen.

Your Affiant performed an investigative search on Venturini. Your Affiant discovered Marcus Lee Venturini DOB 02/03/1996 hereafter referred to as the Defendant, was last known to reside at 883 Longbow Ln # B in Bozeman Montana.

On the morning of December 07, 2016 your Affiant and Detective Matt Boxmeyer responded to 883 Longbow Ln unit #B in Bozeman Montana. Your Affiant made contact with a male later identified as “Morgan E”. Your Affiant identified himself to Morgan and asked to speak with The Defendant. Morgan allowed your Affiant and Detective Boxmeyer into his residence while he retrieved The Defendant.

Inside the residence your Affiant and Detective Boxmeyer observed a greyish blue pair of shoes with white laces on the floor. The shoes matched the shoes your Affiant observed the suspect to be wearing in the video surveillance footage from Casey’s Corner.

Your Affiant observed a male come from the upstairs portion of the residence. Your Affiant immediately recognized the male as The Defendant from both his driver’s license photo and the video surveillance from the gas station the night of the robbery.

Your Affiant informed The Defendant of the ongoing robbery investigation and asked The Defendant to come to the Law and Justice Center to provide a statement. The Defendant agreed and got dressed. Your Affiant observed that The Defendant had a deep sounding voice, which matched the description given of the suspect by Grove. The Defendant then put on the shoes matching those involved in the robbery and accompanied your Affiant to the Law and Justice Center.

Your Affiant asked Detective Sgt. Jeremy Kopp to respond to the 883 Longbow Ln. #B residence to interview the Defendant’s roommates and to ask for permission to search the residence. Your Affiant is aware that Sgt. Kopp interviewed both of The Defendant roommates who both indicated they could not support an alibi for the Defendant on the night of the robbery. Your Affiant is aware that the roommates consented to a search of the common areas of the residence. Your Affiant is aware that Sgt. Kopp located and seized three knives from the common area that matched the knifes used by the suspect during the robbery.

At the Law and Justice Center, your Affiant read The Defendant his Miranda rights. The Defendant indicated he understood his rights and he agreed to speak to your Affiant without counsel present. The interview was both video and audio recorded.

Your Affiant interviewed The Defendant. The Defendant admitted he had worked at the gas station in the past. He confirmed he quit on Halloween night and is still unemployed. Your Affiant asked The Defendant about his cellular telephone. The Defendant reported he had a white Apple Iphone 5 that he recently purchased. The Defendant reported it had a white case with a grey sticker on it that read “Drip Club”.

Your Affiant asked The Defendant to provide an alibi for the night of the robbery. The Defendant was vague and could not recall what he was doing or where he was on the night of the robbery. The Defendant reported he thought he was home at his address in Bozeman hanging out with his roommates. He later admitted one of his roommates was out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday and he thought me was hanging out with his other roommate Morgan. Sgt. Detective Jeremy Kopp interviewed Morgan and confirmed Morgan was at work during the time of the Robbery.

Your Affiant asked The Defendant if he had any involvement in the robbery of Casey’s Corner on or about November 26, 2016. The Defendant denied any involvement. Your Affiant asked The Defendant if he had even been in trouble for stealing. The Defendant first denied that he had prior history with stealing, but then he admitted that he had been caught shoplifting once.

Your Affiant confronted The Defendant about possible evidence that may have been left at the crime scene. The Defendant asserted his right to an attorney and stopped his statement. Your Affiant asked The Defendant for permission to search his person. The Defendant refused to provide permission to search his person.

Your Affiant placed The Defendant into custody and informed him that your Affiant would be applying for a search warrant for his fingerprints, DNA, hair follicle and possibly other items (his shoes). Your Affiant explained that The Defendant was being taken into custody to prevent the destruction of evidence.

Your Affiant applied for and was granted a search warrant out of District Court for the Defendants person to include his DNA, finger Prints, photographs and shoes. Your Affiant was applied for and was granted a search warrant out of District Court for the Defendants residence at 883 Longbow Ln #B.

Your Affiant served and searched The Defendant person for the listed items. He was also advised and provided a copy for the search warrant for his residence. The Defendant was released but remained in the lobby of the Law and Justice Center for a ride.

Your Affiant responded to 883 Longbow Ln # B where Deputy Scott Secor had been securing the residence. Your Affiant along with assistance from Detective Sgt. Kopp and Detective Boxmeyer searched The Defendants residence.

Your Affiant searched and located within The Defendants personal bedroom clothing, cell phones and a dark grey ski mask that were an exact match to the clothing seen in the video surveillance from Casey’s Corner. Your Affiant seized said items and placed them into evidence.

Your Affiant is aware Detective Boxmeyer re-interviewed one of the Defendants roommates. The roommate indicated he had seen the press release after we had arrived at his residence. Your Affiant is aware the roommate also identified The Defendant from the photos in the press release including the clothing he was wearing as the person committing the robbery.

Your Affiant is aware The Defendant is from Kalispell Montana. Your Affiant is aware The Defendant has no ties to this community. He is not employed and has no immediate family members in Gallatin County.

Your Affiant is aware that a person commits the offense of Robbery, 45-5-401 MCA, when in the course of a theft a person inflicts bodily injury upon another or threatens to inflict bodily injury upon any person or purposely or knowingly puts any person in fear of immediate bodily injury or commits or threatens immediately to commit any felony other than theft.

Based on the totality of the investigation including information The Defendant was considered a flight risk; The Defendant was placed under arrest at approximately 1824 hours and charged with the listed offense. He was transported to the Gallatin County Detention Center where he was held on no bond.

Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office Seeks the Public’s Assistance


(Gallatin County, Mont.)  On November 26, 2016 a male suspect entered Casey’s Corner Gas station in Four Corners near Bozeman Montana. The suspect walked through the store and into the bathroom where he remained until the store was empty of patrons. The suspect then dawned a ski mask seen on his head and detained the store clerk in a back room with two 12-inch kitchen knives.

The suspect was in the store over 15 minutes until the crime was complete. The suspect exited the back of the store when a patron entered. It is believed the suspect ran past the Carriage House Car Wash and or Summit Motor Sports to an unknown location/vehicle.  The Sheriff’s Office is releasing the following photos in hopes someone will recognize the suspect.  Two photos show the suspect wearing a stalking cap on their head and two photos were captured of the suspect immediately after removing the cap partially revealing the suspect’s face.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Gallatin County Detective Division at 406-582-2121 or Crime Stoppers at 406-582-1131. You may remain anonymous. Persons providing information leading to the apprehension or conviction of suspect(s) could be eligible for a reward.

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