Bail was set at $1 million each for a Texas man and a North Dakota man accused of bringing more than one pound of meth from Utah to Montana, having $9,000 cash from drug sales and carrying a gun.

Luis Garcia, 39, of Corpus Christi, Texas, and Eric Lebeau, 47, of Bismarck, North Dakota, are each charged with possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute, possession of firearm by convicted person and use or possession of property subject to criminal forfeiture, all felonies. They appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court on Monday before Judge Bryan Adams.

On Friday around 8:20 a.m., a Montana Highway Patrol trooper stopped a blue truck with Lebeau and Garcia in it because people were sitting in the bed while there was an open front passenger seat, according to charging documents. The trooper said the woman driving was going 55 mph in a 70 mph zone.

The documents said the woman was giving Garcia and Lebeau a ride from the Four Corners Town Pump to the Quality Inn in Belgrade.

Garcia and Lebeau claimed they were coming from Ogden, Utah, to visit a friend in Bozeman, prosecutors wrote. The trooper found they were traveling with two backpacks and thought it was suspicious.

Charging documents said Garcia changed his story and said he was coming from Bismarck to visit a friend in Bozeman. The trooper handcuffed the two because of their conflicting story and asked a Gallatin County sheriff’s deputy to bring a dog to inspect the bags.

The dog found a scent of drugs inside the backpack, according to charging documents. The officer released the two suspects and seized the backpacks.

Around 10 a.m., a deputy told the investigating trooper that Garcia and Lebeau were suspects in a hit and run crash in Yellowstone National Park on Thursday.

Law enforcement found the two at the Quality Inn and arrested them. The park service told the deputy they were actively working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Wyoming to issue arrest warrants for Garcia and Lebeau.

The trooper later found 1.16 pounds of meth, $9,000 and a loaded gun inside the backpacks, prosecutors said.

Freddy Monares can be reached at or 406-582-2630. Follow him on Twitter @TGIFreddy.


Freddy Monares covers politics and county government for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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