Authorities Make Drug Arrests in Whitefish and Kalispell

By Beacon Staff

Authorities in the Flathead have recently made two large drug busts, arresting a Whitefish man after finding a marijuana growing operation at his residence, and arresting a Plains couple for selling prescription drugs to an undercover officer.

At 6:00 p.m. on Sept. 8, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the home of John Hancock, according to a press release issued by the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office. Officers seized 35 marijuana plants, an unspecified amount of packaged marijuana, $10,000 in cash, a vehicle and other miscellaneous items used as part of the growing operation.

Hancock was present when the warrant was served and was arrested at the scene. The investigation was a collaboration between the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, the Northwest Drug Task Force and the Whitefish police Department.

Two weeks earlier, in an unrelated case, authorities arrested Robert and Samantha Cottingham of Plains for allegedly selling prescription drugs to an undercover officer.

According to the press release, officers received a tip in early August that someone known only as “Bob” from Plains was selling large amounts of pills in Plains and the Kalispell area. As part of the investigation, an undercover officer was introduced and eventually discovered “Bob” was in fact Robert Cottingham.

The Cottinghams were arrested Aug. 24 shortly after they sold 40 Oxycodone pills for $2,000 to an undercover officer. This investigation was a collaborative effort between the Morthwest Drug Task Force, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation and the Sanders County Sheriff’s Office.

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