GREAT FALLS — Two people were arrested after leading police officers on a chase in Missoula on Wednesday, March 23, 2022.
The Missoula Police Department says that an officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for an occupant with outstanding felony warrants at about 12:25 p.m.
The vehicle pulled over, and the officer contacted the occupants advising them the reason for the stop. The two occupants provided false names, but the officer recognized the occupants and told them to turn the vehicle off.
According to the MPD, the driver then drove off at a high rate of speed, almost hitting the officer with the rear tire of the maroon GMC SUV. The officer and additional responding officers chased after the vehicle based on the severity of the felony outstanding warrants and the disregard for public safety.
The chase started near Paxson Street and Brooks Street and continued through the city; the SUV reached speeds of more than 80 miles per hour.
The pursuit ended near Humble and South Avenue when the SUV went into a dead-end road. Both people were taken into custody.
The suspects have been identified as Tagen Bruce Struhs, 30 years old, and Julia Camille Mendoza, 26.
During the search incident to arrest officers located substances consistent with fentanyl and methamphetamine.
The occupants were arrested on charges of criminal endangerment, possession of dangerous drugs, and intent to distribute dangerous drugs.
Missoula Police Department Lt. McLean is asking for help from the public, and wants to talk with anyone who was nearly hit by the SUV or whose safety was endangered during the chase. Call Lt. McLean at 406-552-6332 if you have information.
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