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Man charged in connection to massive October drug bust

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — Prosecutors have charged an Ammon man in connection to trafficking illicit drugs.

Idaho State Police pulled over a rental car on Interstate 15 driven by Wendy K. Lively, 49, with her boyfriend Michael Fortney, 42, in the passenger seat. Lively had been the center of a Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office drug investigation, and law enforcement uncovered a massive amount of drugs in the traffic stop.

While Lively was charged in October with felony drug crimes, including trafficking, Fortney has been a free man until now. Bonneville County prosecutors allege Fortney knew about the drug trafficking and he was arrested Monday after being charged with felony trafficking of meth, trafficking of heroin, trafficking of marijuana and trafficking of cocaine.

When police pulled over the car in October, they learned Lively would be going to California to make a drug run. Investigators tracked Lively’s car during the trip through a search warrant. When pulled over, law enforcement spotted a meth pipe in Fortney’s lap.

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Fortney was detained, declined to answer questions and asked for a lawyer.

A search of the car reportedly uncovered approximately 30 lbs. of marijuana, 6.5 lbs. of methamphetamine, 80 grams of heroin and 90 grams of fentanyl. Detectives also found two handguns.

Both Lively and Fortney were arrested and taken to the Bonneville County Jail. The following day while Lively faced charges, Fortney was released as investigators continued to build their case.

Deputies note that the couple’s phones had evidence Fortney had known about and helped Lively in trafficking the drugs to Idaho. The couple had even taken photos together at a marijuana grow while allegedly in California.

Fortney made his initial court appearance Tuesday and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 8.

Although Fortney and Lively are accused of crimes it does not necessarily mean they committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Lively is scheduled for a jury trial in April.