NewsCrime and Courts


Livingston man who triggered manhunt sentenced for meth trafficking

Cole pleaded guilty in June to possession with intent to distribute meth
Shaunesy Alan Cole
Posted at 4:10 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 18:16:18-05

GREAT FALLS — Shaunesy Alan Cole of Livingston, who led law enforcement officers on a car chase and triggered a manhunt in the mountains near Bozeman, was sentenced on Wednesday to 13 years in federal prison and five years of supervised release for methamphetamine trafficking crimes, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme.

Cole, 37 years old, pleaded guilty in June to possession with intent to distribute meth and to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Cole was charged with drug trafficking crimes after Park County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to pull over a vehicle that Cole was driving in July 2018.

He gave a false name and instead of getting out of the vehicle as instructed, he drove away. As deputies chased, Cole reportedly fired a gun from the driver’s-side window. Officer stopped the chase for safety reasons and because Cole had driven down a dead-end road. Officers set up a road block and the search began.

The next day, deputies got a call from a resident in Quinn Creek that Cole was walking around the balcony of his home. As officers converged, Cole jumped off the balcony and went down a steep embankment.

Officers arrested Cole a short time later. During a search of the area, officers found a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol. On Cole, officers found a box of 9mm ammunition and about 21 grams of meth.

Cole admitted that he was using heroin, meth, and acid, and that he had traded four grams of meth for the pistol. Officers determined that the pistol had been reported stolen.

(JULY 12, 2018) Shaunesy Cole, the subject of a two-day manhunt in the mountains near Bozeman, has been captured.

The Park County Sheriff’s Office posted a photo on Facebook and wrote: "WE GOT HIM!!! This coordinated, multi-agency effort to apprehend this fugitive was successful. More details will be released at a later time. A job well done by all participating agencies."

Park County Sheriff Scott Hamilton said Cole was reportedly attempting to breaking into the home when a woman inside called 911 and barricaded the doors. No officers were injured in the arrest and Cole was medically cleared to be taken to the Park County Jail.

The incident started near Bozeman on Wednesday when a Park County Sheriff’s deputy attempted to pull over a vehicle for suspected drunk driving, according to law enforcement.

“They made a stop on it. The stop didn’t last very long," said Park County Undersheriff Clay Herbst. "The driver – the male – was was obstructing the investigation and then he fled.” Herbst said when authorities caught up with Cole he pointed a pistol out the window and fired at them.

Authorities backed off and found the car a few miles up the road being driven by a woman who was previously the passenger. She was arrested and charges are pending.

Challenged by terrain, the massive search effort to bring Cole into custody Wednesday included law enforcement from local, county, state and federal agencies with both SWAT and FBI.

Authorities say the 37-year-old, three-time felon is known to them, and not just because of his past but also due to current investigations.

“I think that he’s desperate,” said Hamilton. “I mean, we’ve been looking for this guy for weeks before this so he’s known to us.” Hamilton said Cole is a suspect in several crimes.

“We had a burglary a few drainages over towards Livingston,” Hamilton said. “A motorcycle was stolen and some other stuff. (There) ended up being a pursuit to Billings and he invaded officers there in Billings. We’ve been looking for him ever since.”

“He’s already got felony warrants for other stuff,” Hamilton added. “He’s just making things worse.”

“When people shoot at us, we hunt them down until we find them,” said Hamilton. “That’s the goal here. We want to do that peacefully, but we’re ready if you want to shoot at us again.”Hamilton said he understands the fear and frustrations of residents in the area.

“They want their neighborhood back, and the peace and quiet – that that’s why they live out here,” he said.

“We’ve got roving patrols of vehicles going up down by houses and driveways,” Hamilton added. “There’s a very large law enforcement presence here which is uncommon, no way we could we could do what we’re doing out here without their assistance.”

Hamilton said Cole’s family is concerned about his well-being.

“If anyone knows where he is, the best thing to do, please let us know where he is and we can bring a peaceful resolution to this.”