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3 arrested on drug charges after police officer recognizes wanted man

Crime Watch

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The following is a news release and photos from the Idaho Falls Police Department. Photos: Joshua Kelly, Richard Connell, Kori Martin

IDAHO FALLS — On Jan. 5, shortly before 1 a.m., an Idaho Falls Police Officer was patrolling in the area of 9th Street and Higbee when he recognized a vehicle on the roadway. The officer knew that the registered owner of the vehicle had an active warrant for his arrest, and recognized the driver as the man in question.

While the officer turned his patrol car around, he saw the vehicle park and three people exit the vehicle. The officer activated his emergency lights, exited his patrol car and contacted the individuals.

The driver, Richard Connell, met the officer on the sidewalk where the officer informed Connell that he had an outstanding warrant and placed him in handcuffs.

Additional Idaho Falls Police Officers arrived on scene to assist and while investigating, officers were able to see a firearm through the back-left window on the floor of the vehicle in plain view.

Connell stated that it was not his and consented to the officer removing the firearm from the vehicle. While doing so the officer observed an open bag next to the firearm with a syringe and a clear plastic container with what appeared to be methamphetamine. Upon further searching the bag, officers found two baggies of methamphetamine weighing five grams total and four baggies of heroin weighing 17.7 grams total.

Officers were able to determine that Joshua Kelly, who had been the passenger in the back-left seat of the vehicle where the items were located, was the owner of these items. Kelly had initially walked away from the scene after officers recognized him but confirmed that he did not have any active warrants. Kelly was located a few blocks away where he was taken into custody.

Kori Martin, the passenger who had been in the front seat of the vehicle, was found in possession of drug paraphernalia. Martin, a 23-year-old Idaho Falls resident, was arrested for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and taken to the Bonneville County Jail.

Richard Connell, a 36-year-old Idaho Falls resident, was arrested on his misdemeanor warrant and taken to the Bonneville County Jail.

Joshua Kelly, a 37-year-old Idaho Falls resident, was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, felony possession of a controlled substance, felony drug trafficking and possession of drug paraphernalia and was taken to the Bonneville County Jail.