NewsCrime and Courts


Authorities identify ‘major participant’ in Cascade County jail riot

Posted at 4:49 PM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 19:47:16-04

GREAT FALLS – Zachary Paul Potts has been identified as a “major participant” in the riot that happened on Saturday at the Cascade County Detention Center.

On Saturday, several dozen inmates rioted at the jail, causing at least $10,000 in damage.

The Montana Department of Corrections’ office of Adult Probation & Parole filed a court document on Monday that states Potts, 22 years old, was reportedly a “major participant” in the riot, and that felony charges against Potts are expected.

Potts was sentenced just last week by Judge Elizabeth Best on a charge of theft.

Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards says that more people are likely going to be charged.

We will update you as we get more information.

An estimated 43 inmates began rioting on Saturday at around 11 a.m. According to Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards, the inmates were housed in the N Pod of the Detention Center.

Members of the Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team and the Detention Center’s Cell Extraction Team gained control of the inmates and defused the riot by about 3 p.m.

There were no serious injuries to jail staff or any inmates. Some officers and inmates sustained irritation to their eyes and skin due to the use of pepper spray; standard decontamination was used on everyone that was affected.

Sheriff Edwards said on Monday that numerous felony charges are expected at the end of the initial investigation, and that the facility lockdown has been lifted except for N Pod and all inmates involved in the riot.

Sheriff Edwards says that damage estimates are greater than $10,000, but they have not yet fully documented all of the damage. Damage includes broken fire sprinkler heads, ceiling tiles, monitoring cameras, and cell doors.

Reporting by Margaret DeMarco & David Sherman for MTN News