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Pocatello man charged after allegedly driving into oncoming traffic

Crime Watch

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CHUBBUCK — A man police say tried to escape police by driving into oncoming traffic has been charged with multiple felonies.

Justin Joseph Lupo, 40, of Pocatello, has been charged with possession of a controlled substance and eluding an officer, according to court documents.

While patrolling Knudsen Boulevard around 6 p.m. on May 18, a Bannock County Sheriff’s deputy identified a white 1992 Toyota truck displaying fake license plates, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The deputy attempted a traffic stop, but the truck continued driving, turning southbound on Yellowstone Avenue without yielding to passing traffic. The deputy followed the truck, which crossed the diamond intersection into the northbound lanes toward oncoming traffic, the affidavit says.

A second deputy, responding to requests for assistance from the first, blocked the truck on the overpass. The first deputy then pulled in behind the truck, penning it in.

The driver, later identified as Lupo, got out of the vehicle and was taken into custody without further incident, the affidavit says.

During a search of the vehicle, officers found clear plastic baggies containing a white crystalline substance, as well as a silicone container with a similar substance. Deputies field tested what was inside the baggies and were returned a presumptive positive for methamphetamine.

The substances were sent to a forensics lab for analysis.

Lupo was arrested and transported to Bannock County Jail, where he was booked and is being held on a $50,000 bond.

Although Lupo has been charged with these crimes, it does not mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.

If he is found guilty of both felonies, Lupo could face up to 12 years in prison and $65,000 in fines.

He is scheduled to appear in court before Magistrate Judge Paul Laggis Thursday for a preliminary hearing.