Missoula Police Arrest Local Drug Dealers With Help From K9

During the last week of March 2022, a news source, who provided substantiated information, contacted a Missoula Police Department officer regarding individuals involved in the distribution of cocaine.

The news source said a man he knew as “Matt K” was involved in distributing cocaine and was told by “Matt K” that he is using a residence in Missoula to “cut ” cocaine to distribute in Missoula and Kalispell.

The source said he saw “Matt K” selling cocaine in the days after he provided the information downtown. The source further stated that “Matt K” typically sells cocaine on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights in the downtown area.

The source provided a Montana license plate and phone number for “Matt K”. Over the next few weeks, officers discovered the phone number and vehicle belonged to 20-year-old Matthew Kardan.

On April 15, 2022, the source provided information that Kardan had cocaine on him, inside his vehicle, at his residence, and was selling cocaine downtown. An officer drove to Kardan’s residence and observed his vehicle. At approximately 11:16 p.m., Kardan left his residence. Shortly after, the officer conducted a roadside check on Kardan’s vehicle. Police public information officer Lydia Arnold picks up the story.

“An officer conducted a traffic stop after noticing that a vehicle was not following several traffic rules,” Arnold said. “When the officer made contact, the driver, Matthew Kardan, appeared nervous to the officer. Based on the indicators the officer observed from driving behavior to first contact with Kardan, the officer asked Kardan to take the standardized field sobriety tests. Other officers at the scene had information about drug-related activity involving Kardan.

When he stopped, Kardan was shaking uncontrollably and his voice cracked. An officer was called to the scene to deploy his K9 to sniff out the perimeter of Kardan’s vehicle. The K9 is trained and certified to detect cocaine, heroin, MDMA and methamphetamine.

“The K9 displayed a change in behavior near one part of the vehicle,” Arnold said. “Officers applied for a search warrant and obtained a search warrant. Officers searched the vehicle. During the search, officers found drugs and other paraphernalia indicating drug distribution. A search warrant was also requested and granted for Kardan’s residence where additional drugs and paraphernalia were collected as evidence.

Court documents indicate that 3.5 grams of cocaine were in Kardan’s vehicle. Officers knocked on the door of the residence and a man, identified as 21-year-old Nickolas Viera, opened the door and was handcuffed. Viera was read her Miranda rights and informed that all marijuana and mushrooms belonged to her and all “hard” drugs belonged to Kardan. Officers at the scene seized a total of 405.3 grams of psilocybin mushrooms along with $9731.00 in cash found in Viera’s safe.

During a search of drawers belonging to Kardan, officers found $5,232 in cash, 35 Molly pills, more cocaine and a loaded Rugar 9MM handgun.

An officer informed Kardan that they would also seize his two cell phones. Kardan provided the access codes and permission for the officer to look into the phones. The officer went through several messages indicating that Kardan was buying and selling cocaine.

Kardan is currently charged with criminal possession with intent to distribute, unlawful use/possession of property subject to criminal forfeiture, and two counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

Viera is currently charged with criminal possession with intent to distribute and unlawful use/possession of property subject to criminal forfeiture.

The information in this article was obtained from publicly available sources.

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