35,000 Pounds of Rotting Chicken

A truck driver, hauling a load of frozen chicken, called his employers at Dixie River Freight and demanded a ransom for the cargo. The company declined to pay, so the driver uncoupled the trailer and left it at a truck stop in Missoula, Montana. The truck cab was reported stolen, but the trailer identification was never entered into a national database of stolen vehicles. Three weeks later, the abandoned trailer was reported to Missoula County sheriff’s department. The thawed chicken carcasses were dripping from the trailer and attracting flies.

Now the health department has to figure out a way to get the rotten meat to the landfill. They're working with Dixie River Freight's insurance company. It looks like the best plan now is to wrap and plug up the trailer and take the chicken to the dump in its original casing.

"You want to get rid of that potential for there to be pests flying around, disease vectors, the flies, but in and of itself it's not a hazardous material," explained Shannon Therriault, the environmental health supervisor for the Missoula City-County Health Department.

Crews would rather not unload the chicken, but the trucking company would like to have its trailer back. Whether the truck will be destroyed or unloaded will be up to the insurance company. -via Arbroath
(Image credit: FoxMontana)

Update: The chicken has been buried in a landfill, and the driver was arrested for parole violation on Friday. -Thanks, rcxb!

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A bit out-of-date... It was taken to the landfill Friday morning, unloaded with a forklift, and reportedly doesn't smell too bad after the disgusting ordeal.

The driver suspected of ransom/theft has a long criminal record, too.


The police arrested him on unrelated charges Friday night, giving them plenty of time to decide if they want to charge him for the truck and cargo extortion and theft:

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That was my first thought, as well, but that doesn't appear to be the case at all:

"Detectives later learned that suspect-driver, Christopher L. Hall, had an extensive criminal history and is wanted on a federal parole violation. Hall is now also wanted for the alleged theft of a 2013 Volvo semi truck worth $160,000." --The Montana Standard
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You would think Colorado would be a long way from alligators too, but we do have alligators here at the Colorado Gator Reptile Park, and facilities like that and the animal sanctuaries are always looking for donations. Surely Montana has something similar full of hungry critters. They're not picky; they'll even take chicken.
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