Gary Wheelock, owner of Montana City Meats, posted a $2,695 bond to be released from jail last week after he was arrested for the alleged assault and unlawful restraint of two state Department of Livestock meat inspectors and for allegedly obstructing a peace officer. In July, the Montana Department of Livestock suspended the license for Montana City Meats for 90 days after finding what it called “putrid” conditions in the company’s meat-processing plant. Wheelock was taken into custody last Tuesday during a follow-up visit by two state inspectors to the Jefferson County processing plant. The five charges against Wheelock, including the assaults, are misdemeanors. Jefferson County Sheriff Craig Doolittle confirmed that the state meat inspectors were the alleged victims. Wheelock is also accused of not letting the inspectors depart and then with obstructing a law officer. The meat-processing plant originally was visited by four state Livestock Department inspectors on July 11, and they immediately ordered the 90-day suspension of its license. Gary Hamel, the state’s meat and poultry inspection chief, wrote the company on July 19, stating: “During that visit, we found several violations (of state law) including putrid sights and smells such as fly infestations, maggots, offal, bones and skins from a previous processing day, garbage strewn about, unfinished wood surfaces, rust, blood on the floor of the cooler, and a carcass that appeared to have been hanging too long that had developed a slick surface and an odor.” The inspection chief also said that Montana City Meats sold misbranded meats on June 8 at the Helena Farmers Market with the “not for sale” labels removed. In a second letter on July 23, Hamel said that Montana City Meats could stay its suspension for six months if the company corrected the problems, but when the two agents visited last Tuesday, they found conditions inside the plant had not been sufficiently improved. Hamel said that some clean-up had occurred but the physical condition of the plant “is not where it needs to be.” Before his arrest, Wheelock told local media that he did not think the state’s actions were right and he’d involved an attorney in the license issue. He said the license suspension means he cannot process meat but can still pick up carcasses and deliver meat legally processed elsewhere.