Trio jailed on drug charges

PONDERAY — An investigation into a noise complaint at an apartment building early Saturday morning bloomed into a felony drug investigation.

Erica Ashley Crouch, 20; Jesse Alan Johnson, 25; and Muhammed Ali Mujtaba, 24, are charged with trafficking marijuana after nearly 5 pounds of the drug were discovered in the apartment.

The suspects were ordered held Monday with bail set at $50,000 each. Public defenders have been appointed to represent the defendants, court records show.

Ponderay Police were summoned to the 500 block of Larkspur after receiving a report of excessive noise and possibly marijuana use. An officer said in his report that he was greeted by the “overpowering” odor of pot when the door was opened and offered to ticket, instead of arresting, them if they gave up their stash, a probable cause affidavit states.

An undisclosed amount of pot was turned over, but officers remained suspicious and ultimately obtained a search warrant, court documents said. The search turned up several gallon-sized re-sealable bags filled with marijuana, a scale and a makeshift ledger listing names and sums of money.

More than $400 in cash was recovered and a  backpack in the apartment allegedly held sandwich bags containing measured amounts of pot, the affidavit said.

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