At approximately 1:15 a.m. on September 16, 2022, a Missoula Police Department officer observed two vehicles in the parking lot of a casino located in the 2700 block of South Reserve Street. Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold explains. 

“A little after one in the morning, an officer on patrol observed vehicles parked in an area in a manner which raised suspicion,” Arnold said. “The officer observed different vehicles come and go from the area and observed different people around the vehicles. The officer recognized one of the vehicles and a female based on prior law enforcement drug-related contacts.” 

According to Arnold, the driver of the vehicle allowed the officer to do a consent search. 

“As the officer was getting ready to conduct the search, a female, Tara Finley, got out of the car,” Arnold said. “As she was getting out of the car, she grabbed a bag that the officer had observed earlier in her possession prior to making contact with the vehicles. During the search, officers observed indicators of dangerous drugs and dangerous drug paraphernalia in the proximity of where Finley was sitting. An additional passenger in the car told officers Finley had observed law enforcement around her earlier and requested to be picked up so law enforcement would not notice her.” 

Arnold said Finley had sent messages to the passenger of the car indicating use of dangerous drugs. 

“When speaking to officers, Finley told officers the drugs were hers and indicated she had attempted to separate herself from them,” Arnold said. “Officers collected a presumed positive 3.8 grams of methamphetamine. This case is still under investigation with the Missoula Police Department Detective Division.”  

Finley is currently being charged with felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs. 

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.

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