Traffic violation leads to major drug bust

A traffic violation leads to a big bust for Montana Highway Patrol. The incident occurred just outside the city limits.

According to court documents, Montana Highway Patrol officer Barry Kilpela pulled over the vehicle because the driver failed to signal while changing lanes and speeding. Little did the trooper know, it was the beginning of a big drug bust.

Trooper Barry Kilpela was patrolling traffic on the morning of October 12th, when a white 2007 Lexus GS-350 failed to signal when changing lanes and was exceeding the posted speed limit.

Court documents state Anthony Toshio Fujimoto pulled over near Mile Marker 1 on I-94. The trooper said he noticed a very strong masking odor from the driver's car, as well as separate bundles of cash. The trooper said he asked Fujimoto to get out of the vehicle to fill out some paperwork.

The trooper said Fujimuto appeared to be very nervous, was shaking and said he told several contradicting stories about why he was driving from Seattle to Bismarck. He also said he noticed Fujimoto get very nervous when he asked whether the trunk of the car had recently been opened. When Fujimoto declined to allow him to look in the trunk, Kilpela sent his K-9 to the vehicle, and the K-9 indicated the presence of narcotics. Inside, 80 vacuum-packed, one-pound bags of marijuana were allegedly present.

Fujimoto is being charged with criminal possession with intent to distribute. The charges are punishable of up to 20 years in prison and up to 50 thousand dollars.

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