Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Kalispell man accused of smoking marijuana with teens

Daily Inter Lake | September 22, 2022 12:00 AM

A 29-year-old man accused of smoking marijuana with Glacier High School students pleaded not guilty to a felony criminal distribution of dangerous drugs charge in Flathead County District Court on Tuesday.

Ryan Christopher Newby of Kalispell entered the plea before Judge Amy Eddy during his Sept. 20 arraignment. Newby, who appeared in court in a suit and tie, remains out of custody on his own recognizance.

Newby fell under suspicion after a Kalispell Police officer learned that two girls —14 and 15 years old — had left the campus May 20, 2021* in a vehicle driven by an older man apparently unknown to them, court documents said. When they returned, the officer tracked the vehicle down in the high school’s parking lot.

Inside, the officer found Newby, described as boasting bloodshot eyes, according to court documents. The vehicle smelled of “fresh burnt marijuana,” court documents said. Under questioning, Newby allegedly admitted smoking a bowl of marijuana.

He subsequently admitted, according to court documents, meeting the two girls on social media. At first denying giving the pair marijuana, he allegedly eventually told authorities that he shared it with them.

Newby let investigators search his vehicle, which turned up a blue glass pipe featuring burnt resin in the bowl and a plastic baggy containing marijuana, court documents said.

Authorities interviewed the two girls a day later. The pair said they went with Newby — one said she didn’t want the other to go with a stranger alone — and admitted taking “hits” from a blue glass pipe, court documents said.

A judge signed a warrant for Newby’s arrest in June 2022, though it was not served until Aug. 14. He faces up to 40 years in state prison and a maximum fine of $50,000 if convicted of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs.

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


Ryan Christopher Newby at his arraignment on a criminal distribution of dangerous drugs charge in Flathead County District Court on Sept. 20, 2022. (Derrick Perkins/Daily Inter Lake)

*This story has been updated.

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