The Billings Gazette reports that a California man, who was arrested after a manhunt in Sweet Grass County, and suspected of having about five pounds of methamphetamine, admitted to federal charges on Wednesday in Billings.  35-year-old Ronald Andrew Smith of La Honda, California, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.  There was reportedly no plea agreement.

Law enforcement officials arrested Smith after a Montana Highway Patrol trooper pulled his vehicle over on February 19th near Big Timber; Smith and co-defendant Jairo Sebastian Vela-Diaz, also of California, were traveling in the same car.  The trooper suspected Smith was trafficking drugs and told him the vehicle would be impounded while he applied for a search warrant, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney John Sullivan.  Smith fought off two officers and drove away, but was apprehended again the following day.

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