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Kalispell man earns multiple 3-year sentences

by DERRICK PERKINS
Daily Inter Lake | June 12, 2022 12:00 AM

A Kalispell man arrested more than two years ago for making purchases with a stolen credit card earned concurrent three year sentences with the state Department of Corrections on June 9.

Tagen Struhs, 30, previously pleaded guilty to felony deceptive practices, felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs and misdemeanor bail jumping. He struck an agreement with prosecutors in January tying together the three separate cases.

Struhs came to the attention of Kalispell Police officers in March 2020 after a local company reported unauthorized credit card purchases on its account. Company officials turned a list of 11 unauthorized uses at area gas stations over to investigators. Reviewing surveillance footage, officers identified Struhs as using the credit card, court documents said.

Altogether, Struhs’ tab hit $1,614.43, according to detectives investigating the case.

Struhs racked up the possession charge later that year. In August 2020, police officers responded to a local fast food restaurant on a tip. There, according to court documents, they found Struhs in the bathroom.

During his arrest, officers reported finding a bindle bag in the pocket of Struhs’ pants. Testing via the state crime lab identified heroin in the bag, according to court documents.

Documents indicated that Struh failed several times to appear as his case worked through the courthouse, eventually leading to the bail jumping misdemeanor charge in June 2021.

Defense attorney Nicholas Aemisegger told the court last week that Struhs was facing a five year Department of Corrections sentence in Missoula County following a change of plea in that jurisdiction. A straight stretch with the Department of Corrections “makes sense” for his client, who appeared in Flathead County via Zoom, Aemisegger said.

For the two felony charges, Eddy handed down the two three year sentences. For bail jumping, Struhs earned 180 days in the Flathead County Detention Center, suspended, with credit for 80 days time served.

Struhs has two other active cases in the county courthouse. One, a drug possession charge, was filed in April. The other, filed after Struhs allegedly shoplifted from a ski store in Whitefish, dates back to 2021.

Following his sentencing, Struhs was remanded to the custody of authorities in Missoula County.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or dperkins@dailyinterlake.com.