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Police search for suspect who fled following I-44 drug bust

Gabriel Montano, 38

DOOLITTLE, MO – Police say a man who may be armed escaped on foot following a drug bust along I-44 Tuesday morning.  At approximately 8:35am, the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department stopped a black Chevrolet Tahoe for a traffic violation. During the stop, the deputy developed probable cause to search the vehicle. The search turned up methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana inside the SUV.

While the investigation was ongoing, the driver, identified as Gabriel Montano, 38, from Arizona, fled on foot. A passenger was taken into custody.

Montano is described as a Hispanic male, 5’ 5”, and approximately 180 pounds. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a dark sweatshirt, and a multi-colored t-shirt. Montano has numerous tattoos on his arms. He was last seen heading north-east from the 100 block of Doolittle Outer Road on the north side of Interstate 44 near Doolittle.

An extensive search of the area was conducted but Montano remains at large. The Phelps County Sheriff’s Department says it is common for people involved with narcotics to be armed and ask that people in the area keep their cars and homes secured.

Anyone who sees Montano or any person matching his description should call Rolla Central Communications at (573) 308-1213, or 911.

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