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Man accused of drug possession, threatening another man with handgun at downtown Bozeman bar

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Posted at 12:23 PM, Dec 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-27 14:58:45-05

BOZEMAN — A Bozeman man was arrested early Wednesday morning, accused of possessing cocaine and other drugs and allegedly threatening another man with a handgun at a downtown bar.

Christopher Ray Fortin, 43, was charged in Gallatin County Justice Court with assault with a weapon and criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

Court documents say Fortin and another man were playing pool at the Molly Brown bar in downtown Bozeman with Fortin's girlfriend and the other man's wife. The man said he knew who Fortin was but had not met him before that night.

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The two men ended up in Fortin's truck around 12:40 a.m. on Wednesday. The other man said he asked Fortin about a prior incident from a few years ago where Fortin allegedly broke into the man's mother's home and had an argument with her.

According to court documents, Fortin and the man started having a verbal argument about the incident, and the man decided to leave and drive away. He realized after he left that he had forgotten his wallet in Fortin's truck.

When the man returned to the Molly Brown, Fortin was still in his truck and allowed the man to retrieve his wallet. Fortin allegedly then asked the man, "Are we cool?" as he brandished a pistol, cocked it, and pointed at the roof of his truck.

The man later told law enforcement during an interview that he feared for his life, quickly returned to his vehicle, and told his wife, "Drive, drive as fast as you can!"

Court documents say the victim was reluctant to provide personal information as he feared Fortin would easily bond out and seek to kill him. Police later located Fortin at the Crystal Bar carrying a satchel bag. Officers took Fortin into custody and found a 9mm pistol in the bag, along with cocaine, psilocybin mushrooms, and other drug paraphernalia.

Police said in court documents that Fortin's account of the incident matched the victim's but said he did not brandish a firearm or threaten the victim. Fortin allegedly began to give inconsistent statements, spoke erratically, and smelled strongly of an alcoholic beverage. Officers additionally said they located a dinner plate covered in a white, powdery residue in Fortin's truck with a credit card, a cut straw, and a rolled-up bill next to it.

Fortin was arrested and transported to the Gallatin County Detention Center. A review of his criminal history showed convictions for drug offenses in 2003, 2019, and 2022.

In court Wednesday, Fortin's bond was set at $35,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2024.