On The Glacial Movement Of Information From The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office

by Travis Mateer

When I read this kind of news article published by the Missoulian yesterday about the 88 year old woman murdered east of Missoula, in Clinton, I wonder how much harassment had to occur to get the spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office, Jeanette Smith, to say this about the case (emphasis mine):

A homicide investigation is still underway after authorities found an 88-year-old woman dead in a Clinton house in September.

Deputies responded to an assault at the 5600 block of Donovan Creek Road in Clinton on Sept. 25. The victim was identified as Delphine A. Farmer, the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office reported. Farmer was pronounced dead on-scene.

The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office is waiting for forensics testing results, spokesperson Jeannette Smith said on Wednesday. She noted the time for results isn’t in the control of the sheriff’s office.

No arrests have been made in connection to the investigation, she said.

In another case, this one an “officer involved shooting” that happened back in August, the name of the man killed by law enforcement wasn’t released until nearly three weeks later. Still being withheld from the public is the name of the agency responsible for taking the lethal shot.

Maybe the public NEEDS to be kept in the dark about the work being done behind the scenes to do dangerous police work, like stemming the flow of hard drugs into Montana?

If keeping the public ignorant about what’s happening has merit in the world of illegal drugs and Confidential Informants (CIs), then Jeremiah Petersen is going to be a GREAT Sheriff for Missoula County. Why? Because of his experience operating within our High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and running the jail, of course.

If law enforcement is going to be increasingly coordinating with mental health professionals to “help our most vulnerable community members”, then it might be worth examining how law enforcement agencies use confidential informants.

Regular Zoom Chron commenter, J. Kevin Hunt, provided an anecdotal story in a recent post that I find quite interesting. Here is the part of the comment relevant to this post:

Detective Guy Baker? He protects his snitches and gives them Get Out of Jail Free cards, in my opinion. He did that when my mom, who was afflicted with Lewy Body dementia, got swindled by a door-to-door huckster with literature about his fake veterans assistance group, who got $2500 out of her to do some house repair and winterization. He did almost nothing and was not seen again. Baker convinced Mom to sign an absolutely worthless “settlement agreement” he drew up, and she of course got burned. I made multiple attempts to reach Baker from Oregon; when I finally got him on the phone, he was surly, blamed my mother for getting swindled and said details of her statements were inconsistent. He had given Mom a story about how the felon who burned her was trying to live an honest life, and how Baker had made the crook on parole a personal project. Baker was rude to me and helped the hustler burn my Mom. Obvious to me that he was protecting a snitch who knows that as long as Baker keeps doing so, the rat won’t get sent back to prison. 

Even though Petersen has no political opposition, it’s still important to be asking questions about how he plans on steering the Sheriff’s Office, especially considering the immense burden taxpayers are going to be saddled with thanks to pay parity schemes and massive, seven figure settlements.

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Thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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