A California woman is facing two felony charges and three misdemeanor charges in Blaine County following a traffic stop by Idaho State Police for speeding on state Highway 75 near Gimlet on Aug. 19.
Sue Jean Sargent, 53, was pulled over around 5:45 p.m. after State Police Cpl. Dan Choma clocked her going 67 mph in a 55-mph zone driving southbound, according to a probable-cause-for-arrest affidavit written by Choma. Once Choma made contact with Sargent he noted an odor of alcohol coming from Sargent’s 2010 Ford Escape. She admitted she had had a few beers before noon. Sargent was unable to properly complete a series of field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest for driving under the influence after giving a breath sample of 0.166/0.164. The legal limit to drive is 0.07 percent.
Upon searching the vehicle before it was towed, Choma immediately found five open beer bottles and one open half-filled beer can that was cold to the touch. During the inventory of the vehicle, Choma also found a pipe and 271.7 grams of marijuana along with a large water bong to smoke marijuana and pills that were identified as a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone, a Schedule II drug. In addition, Choma found $3,015 in cash in the vehicle, according to the affidavit.
The defendant admitted that she did not have a prescription for the hydrocodone pills and had obtained them from a family member for pain. She also said, according to the affidavit, that she purchased the marijuana in California, transported it to Montana and was returning to California with it through Idaho.
Sargent is charged with felony drug trafficking of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance along with misdemeanor DUI, open alcoholic container in the vehicle and possession of drug paraphernalia. At an arraignment in 5th District Magistrate court on Aug. 20, she pleaded not guilty to the three misdemeanor charges. She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 7, at which time the prosecution must present sufficient evidence for the felony case to be bound over to District Court.