James Earl Monroe Evans (YCDF booking photo
James Earl Monroe Evans (YCDF booking photo
James Earl Monroe Evans (YCDF booking photo


(MTN News-BILLINGS)  A man prosecutors said had a backpack with drugs and a loaded firearm stashed in a backpack under a car seat holding a 1-year-old child has been charged.

James Earl Monroe Evans, 34, was charged Thursday in Yellowstone County Justice Court with four felony offenses, including two counts of endangering the welfare of children and one count each of drug possession and drug possession with intent to distribute.

According to court records, Evans was arrested Wednesday after an officer stopped a car on Montana Avenue. The officer said a strong odor of marijuana came from the car, and the female driver was issued a citation for failing to have vehicle insurance.

Story continues below

Evans was passenger in the front seat, and an 11-year-old child and a 1-year-old child were in the back seat. The younger child was in a child seat.

A police dog was called to the scene and the woman gave consent to search the car.

When Evans got out of the car, officers said a drug pipe was found where he had been sitting. Evans also allegedly admitted that a green backpack wedged under the child seat belonged to him.

Inside the backpack, officers said they found 108.9 grams of marijuana, a Ruger .45-caliber handgun with a loaded magazine, a digital scale, a used syringe, three .22-caliber ammunition magazines, a .223-caliber ammunition magazine, and a black tube containing two homemade capsule pills with a substance that tested positive for meth.