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Columbia Falls man sentenced for meth distribution

by Scott Shindledecker
Daily Inter Lake | July 11, 2020 1:00 AM

A 73-year-old Columbia Falls man who pleaded guilty to selling methamphetamine was sentenced Thursday in Flathead County District Court.

Christopher Matthew Donofiro was charged with one felony count of criminal possession of drugs with intent to distribute in relation to a 2019 incident.

Donofiro, who was released on his own recognizance in February, received a two-year deferred sentence from District Judge Amy Eddy.

He received credit for two days served in the Flathead County Detention Center.

According to the charging document, on Feb. 5, 2019, an agent with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office learned Donofiro was involved in distributing meth. An informant told the agent a source in California mails the drugs to Donofiro.

On Feb. 22, 2019, two agents arrived at the Columbia Falls Post Office and located a package addressed to Donofiro’s post office box. The package had a return address in California.

A police service dog conducted a “free air sniff” and displayed a positive alert to the odor of illegal narcotics.

Later Donofiro arrived at the post office, presented a slip to the customer service desk, took the same package and was seen carrying the package out of the post office and to the parking lot.

The officers approached Donofiro, read him his Miranda rights and Donofiro agreed to speak with them. An officer also asked to open the package and Donofiro allegedly agreed.

Officers reported finding two clear plastic sandwich baggies of suspected meth. Later, the substance tested positive for meth at the Montana State Crime Lab.

According to the charging document, Donofiro said he paid $300 to have the meth mailed to him from California and he sold small amounts to two or three of his friends to make money for a trip.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker may be reached at 758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com.