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Pocatello woman charged with possession after crashing into tree

Crime Watch

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POCATELLO — A Pocatello woman faces two felony charges, as well as numerous misdemeanors and infractions, after she allegedly crashed her SUV into a tree.

Megan Renee Housel, 26, has been charged with felonies for possession of methamphetamine and destruction of evidence. She also faces misdemeanor charges for possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, resisting arrest and six separate charges of theft, according to court charge documents.

Officers from the Pocatello Police Department were dispatched to the area of Belmont Road near Stockman Road around 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 10 following reports that a vehicle had struck a tree, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Officers found an unoccupied white Ford SUV with no license plates displayed.

A witness told officers that a woman had driven her vehicle into the tree. She told the witness that she had called the police to report the crash more than 30 minutes before. She was gone before police arrived, the witness said.

Officers were able to acquire registration information via the vehicle’s VIN and discovered that it belonged to Housel.

While looking over the vehicle, officers saw a Zip Top baggie, containing a white residue, near the vehicle’s gear-shift.

A Chevrolet Trailblazer approached, driven by a man who wasn’t identified in court documents. Housel got out of the passenger seat and approached the officers.

Officers requested her driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. She was unable to produce the registration and insurance information, leading to infraction charges for both.

But as she searched her vehicle for the documents, officers allegedly saw her try to hide the Zip Top baggie seen earlier under the passenger seat.

Officers asked her to exit the vehicle and told her she was being detained. She allegedly refused and had to be pulled out of the SUV. She tried to pull away as officers handcuffed her, the affidavit reads.

She told officers that the baggie had contained marijuana. However, field tests returned a presumptive positive for methamphetamine.

During a search of Housel’s purse, officers found a scale with a white crystalline residue, a round rubber container containing suspected THX wax, a sandwich-sized baggie containing suspected marijuana and a second baggie containing white crystalline residue. Officers also found paraphernalia during a search of the vehicle.

Officers placed Housel under arrest and transported her to Bannock County Jail.

Housel has also been charged with six counts of misdemeanor theft. Court documents do not detail the reasons behind those charges.

If convicted, Housel would face up to seven years in prison and $15,000 in fines for the possession charge, and an additional five years and $10,000 for the destruction of evidence.

She was released on her own recognizance with court services following an Aug. 18 preliminary hearing. An arraignment has not yet been scheduled.