Friday, May 31, 2013

Man faces felonies in post office crash

Defendant charged with gun possession by convicted felon


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

     The case against a 29-year-old Bellevue man charged with felony possession of a weapon by a convicted felon has been bound over to Blaine County 5th District Court for further prosecution.

     Emilio Valencia is also charged with the felony crime of possession of methamphetamine and the misdemeanor crimes of driving under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia.

     The case was ordered to the higher district court at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing on Tuesday in Blaine County Magistrate Court.

     The case against Valencia stems from a traffic accident earlier this month when he crashed a vehicle into a concrete light post in the parking lot at the Hailey Post Office.

     Hailey police Lt. Steve England said police were dispatched to the accident scene at about 10:45 a.m. on May 13. He said police became suspicious of Valencia because of his “erratic behavior.”

     “He was uncooperative with us at first but then he was able to calm down and we were able to interview him,” England said.

     England said police were familiar with Valencia’s criminal record and he was placed under arrest when police found a 9mm handgun in the vehicle. He said a subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a “small amount of methamphetamine” and a pipe they believe is used for smoking meth.

     Valencia has pleaded not guilty to all four charges against him.

     According to court records, Valencia was convicted of felony possession of a controlled substance in Blaine County in 2007.

     As of Thursday, a court date had not been scheduled for Valencia’s arraignment in district court.

     He is currently free on $25,000 bond and is represented by Hailey attorney Douglas Nelson.


Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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