If convicted, Bellevue’s city marshal could face up to five years in prison following his arrest last month for allegedly delivering marijuana while on duty.
William Ross Scaggs, 36, appeared for his arraignment on Monday via Zoom, during which 5th District Magistrate Judge Jennifer Haemmerle went over the maximum penalties for the felony offense of delivering the non-narcotic substance. In addition to the potential prison term, Scaggs could be required to pay a $15,000 fine.
Scaggs was arrested on Oct. 13, following an investigation by the Idaho State Police that determined that he gave marijuana edibles to someone at the Bellevue Marshal’s Office earlier in the day, according to a probable-cause-for-arrest affidavit written by Idaho State Police Detective Edward Gates. The investigation began on Oct. 7, when someone identified only as “UC”—meaning an “undercover officer,” an ISP spokeswoman confirmed—met with ISP in Jerome and told the state police that the undercover officer had seen Scaggs allegedly consume edible marijuana gummies during a training in Pocatello the previous week.
“The UC told me that after training on September 28, 2020, Marshal W. Scaggs informed him he was ‘high as f---,’” Gates said in the affidavit. “The UC said during the week of training in Pocatello, he observed Marshal W. Scaggs consume approximately eight (8) marijuana edibles total.”
The undercover officer also allegedly took photographs of the edibles while Scaggs was out of his hotel room in Pocatello.
On Oct. 12, UC allegedly made arrangements to get marijuana edibles from Scaggs and on Oct. 13, Scaggs sent a text to UC “informing him ‘this stuff is just burning a hole in my pocket,’” and informed UC that the edibles were placed in the Bellevue Marshal Office’s refrigerator.
After collecting the alleged drug-infused candies, ISP Detective Gates tested the substance, which came back presumptive positive for marijuana.
Nothing in the affidavit alleges that Scaggs was paid for the marijuana.
Scaggs was placed on administrative leave following his arrest.
Last week, the Bellevue City Council voted to appoint Deputy Mynde Heil as interim marshal in Scaggs’ absence.
In a Facebook post from the Bellevue Marshal’s Office page on after Scaggs’ arrest, the agency said its staff were “shocked and horrified by the charges.”
“The absolute breech of the public trust that has taken place is atrocious to us,” the Facebook post goes on to state. “As a department we will be working to repair the trust and respect for the citizen.”
Scaggs is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 11, at which time a judge will determine whether or there is sufficient evidence for the felony charge to proceed to District Court for prosecution.