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Man known to police arrested on gun and drug charges

Crime Watch

IDHAO FALLS — Police arrested a local man on gun and drug charges earlier this month.

Idaho Falls Police reports show around midnight on Jan. 18, officers arrived at the 1800 block of Hillipark Drive after reports of someone breaking into cars. Officers spotted a suspicious Audi in the area with Austin Blakely, 24, sitting in the driver’s seat.

Police recognized Blakely and knew he had a suspended driver’s license, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com. In the car with Blakely was a woman he was ordered by a court to not have any contact with.

Police spotted a Ruger .22 caliber rifle. Blakely, a convicted felon, is not allowed to have guns. Upon seeing the firearm, police searched the car and also found a Remmington 870 shotgun. Inside a backpack, officers uncovered a third gun, a .22 pistol.

Blakely and the passenger were unable to tell officers who the guns belonged to or how they got into the car.

In the bag, police say they found 12.6 grams of suspected methamphetamine, syringes, a scale, a ledger and several small plastic baggies. Blakely said he is “not really” trying to sell drugs he is just homeless and trying to survive.

Police arrested Blakely and prosecutors charged him with felony charges of unlawful possession of a gun by a convicted felon and possession of methamphetamine. Blakely was also charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of a no-contact order.

Blakely made headlines in October 2020, after the Idaho Falls Police department identified him as the suspect of a shooting that sent a man to a local hospital. Blakely was ultimately arrested and charged with felony aggravated battery and a use of a deadly weapon enhancement.

The victim in that shooting faces a felony drug charge, and court records indicate he has a bench warrant for his arrest. In Blakely’s shooting case, court records show that on Jan. 5, prosecutors were forced to dismiss the charges due to a “witness being unavailable for an indeterminate amount of time.”

Although Blakely is charged with new crimes, it does not necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If convicted of the new felony charges stemming from Jan. 18, Blakely could be ordered to spend up to life in prison.

An initial appearance is scheduled for Feb. 2, at the Bonneville County Courthouse.

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