Edward Eugene Bumpous was arrested in Sidney, Mont. and charged with criminal possession of a dangerous drug with intent to distribute, a felony.
Bumpous, who made an initial appearance on Feb. 3, 2020 in the Montana 7th Judicial District Court, Richland County, was also charged with criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.
Bumpous is alleged to have possessed methamphetamine, a Schedule II Dangerous Drug, and/or THC, a Schedule I Dangerous Drug, in the vehicle he was driving, according to court information filed by Janet Christoffersen, an attorney for Richland County.
The suspect allegedly had recently traveled from Crosby, N.D. at the time of his arrest on Jan. 19, 2020. He was arrested in the parking lot of a Sidney hotel after a Regional Agent in Charge (RAC) notified a Richland County Sheriff’s deputy that Bumpous had set up a meeting to distribute and ingest dangerous drugs, according to a court affidavit filed by Christoffersen.
The case began on Dec. 15, 2019, according to the RAC, who reported he had set up a “female persona” undercover social media account. The RAC reported he received a message from a “male individual identifying himself as ‘Eddie Smith’” from Crosby, N.D.
The individual was “later confirmed to be Edward Eugene Bumpous,” according to the court affidavit.
“The message received from Bumpous stated “oh so white smoke,” reportedly a reference to methamphetamine.
The following day, on Dec. 16, 2020, the RAC responded to the social media message about “white smoke” with a smiley-face emoji and the comment, “You?”
More than a month later, the RAC reported he “received two social media messages from Bumpous that stated ‘Hey what is up’ and ‘White cloud today,” the court affidavit stated.
The RAC reported he responded again with a smiley-face emoji. The RAC reported he had “received a social media message from Bumpous that stated ‘So do you want to have a good time today?’”
After numerous social media exchanges allegedly discussing illegal drugs, the RAC reported he inquired how much substance the suspect had in his possession.
The suspect responded, “enough for us,” according to the court affidavit.
The RAC stated the suspect agreed to travel from North Dakota to Sidney to meet.
“I got probably a 1/2 of a ball or little bit more,” the affidavit stated, clarifying that “a ‘ball’ is drug terminology for three and a half grams (3.5) of methamphetamine.”
Additional social media messages were allegedly exchanged between the suspect and the RAC, including phone numbers for texting.
“Bumpous agreed to travel from Crosby, North Dakota to Sidney, Montana to meet with” the RAC “to distribute and ingest dangerous drugs,” according to the affidavit.
On Jan. 19, 2020, at approximately 7:53 p.m., the RAC contacted a Richland County Sheriff’s deputy to explain the details of his social media conversations with the suspect and to arrange a possible arrest for possession of illegal drugs.
Shortly thereafter, the sheriff’s deputy, along with a Sidney Police officer, conducted a “controlled traffic stop on Bumpous” in Sidney.
Based on the information provided by the RAC, the deputy “placed Bumpous under arrest for distribution of dangerous drugs and transported [him] to Richland County Detention Center,” the affidavit stated.
A 2003 Ford Explorer SUV, driven by the suspect, was seized at the scene.
Later, a search warrant was obtained and investigators discovered a plastic baggie containing suspected meth, a broken glass meth pipe, a single glass tube and “numerous items of drug paraphernalia” inside a suitcase. Investigators also found a vape pen “containing suspected THC liquid, that was wrapped in a pair of jeans from inside the suitcase” the affidavit stated.
Investigators also found a plastic baggie containing suspected methamphetamine and a glass meth pipe inside of a Marlboro cigarette pack, the report stated.
After reading the suspect his Miranda Rights in an interview room at the Richland County Detention Center, “Bumpous acknowledged possessing methamphetamine inside of his vehicle and his willingness to distribute the methamphetamine.”
According to the court affidavit, the suspect told authorities “he was bored in Crosby, North Dakota and just wanted to meet someone new and smoke methamphetamine with them” with intentions “to include sexual relations.”
If convicted of the allegations of criminal possession with intent to distribute a dangerous drug, Bumpous could be incarcerated in state prison for up to 20 years and fined up to $50,000, or both, the court information stated.
At his initial appearance, a judge ordered Bumpous to reappear on March 9, 2020 for an Omnibus Hearing. A trial date was set for July 23, 2020.