NewsCrime Watch


Drone helps capture wanted man in Montana

Posted at 7:35 AM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 09:45:27-05

HELENA - Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Timothy Hornung announced recently the capture of 44-year-old Steven Curtis Drury.

On July 15, 2020 Drury was indicted in Clark County, Idaho for trafficking methamphetamine.

According to a press release, Drury was arrested on Clancy Creek Road in Clancy on Feb. 10.

Officers from the Helena Police Department and Deputy U.S. Marshals of the Montana Violent Offender Task Force attempted to stop Drury’s vehicle in the parking lot of the Wingate Hotel in Helena.

Drury fled and led law enforcement on a vehicle pursuit, which continued to Clancy. Drury attempted to elude law enforcement by driving on rural roads in deep snow. At one point, Drury was able to use a chainsaw to cut down a tree into the road to evade capture.

"I can tell you in my 23 years in law enforcement, this is the first time somebody has cut down a tree in front of us,” said Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. Jay Nelson. “So immediately when we came to this location we started looking 360 degrees because we don't know if we are going to be in an ambush position. We put the drone up immediately to look for any heat signatures, and then luckily we had a (Bureau of Land Management) ranger with a large pick up and a winch. We were able to move this tree out of the way in the matter of minutes."

Law enforcement did use a helicopter to keep sight of Drury, but weather forced the helicopter away from the scene. The Montana Highway Patrol utilized a drone that was pushed to its limits to apprehend the suspect.

"We have three sets of batteries on this (drone) that will run anywhere between 25 minutes and 40 minutes depending on how you're flying the drone, weather, temperature, and that day we burned through all three sets of batteries until we got the suspect into custody," said Brandon Uhl, the drone pilot for the Montana Highway Patrol.

Drury eventually surrendered and was taken into custody without incident following a collaborative manhunt conducted by Deputy U.S. Marshals, the Montana Highway Patrol Special Response Team and Air Unit, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, agents of the Bureau of Land Management, and a Montana game warden.

Drury was booked in the Jefferson County Detention Center where he remained as of Wednesday.