Following a lengthy court hearing last week, a Hailey man was sentenced to two years of probation for possessing less than a gram of cocaine after being pulled over for a traffic violation in Hailey in May.
Nathan Drue Dugger was sentenced on Nov. 27 and ultimately agreed to accept the terms and conditions associated with being on probation after pleading guilty to being in possession of a residual amount of cocaine. However, Dugger initially rejected the state’s recommendation to go on probation, asking the court to sentence him to prison time rather than limit where he could live and work.
“It takes away every good aspect of my life right now and I don’t want that,” Dugger said.
Dugger explained that he intended to take over the family farm from his father, who does payroll differently than what is allowed by probationary rules, and he requested to live with his mother outside of Blaine County, also against probationary rules. Fifth District Judge Ned Williamson explained the underlining sentence if Dugger were not given probation.
“You’re looking at a four-year sentence on less than a gram of cocaine,” Williamson said. “My goal in your particular case is to get you productive.”
In the end, Dugger agreed, saying, “Maybe this is the route I need to go to get back in my son’s life.”
According to a probable-cause affidavit written by Hailey Police Officer Jared Murphy, Murphy pulled over the SUV that Dugger was driving around 8:30 p.m. on May 26 in Hailey after noticing that the vehicle did not have a front license plate, as required by state law, and noting that the SUV was making excessive noise and appeared to be accelerating loudly.
Murphy recognized Dugger, after pulling him over the week prior and citing him for driving without privileges, the affidavit states.
When searching Dugger subsequent to arrest for a suspended driver’s license, Murphy found drug paraphernalia, marijuana and a plastic bag with a “white powdery residue,” which later tested positive for cocaine, the report states.
The additional charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, driving without privileges and racing on a public highway were all dismissed pursuant to the guilty plea on the felony charge. In addition, Dugger was ordered to pay $500 to reimburse the Public Defender’s Office, as well as court costs and reimbursement for the cost of testing the drugs found in his possession.