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Idaho Falls man facing multiple felonies after allegedly running from drug arrest

Crime Watch

CHUBBUCK — A man police say was in possession of 347 fentanyl pills and 2.7 ounces of amphetamine has been charged with several felonies.

Dana Allen Mark Northern, 31, has been charged with two felony counts of drug possession with intent to deliver and misdemeanors for resisting arrest and possession of paraphernalia, court records show.

A Chubbuck police officer was on patrol around 11 p.m. on Sept. 18 when they saw a black Chrysler minivan heading south on Yellowstone Avenue near New Day Parkway without activated taillights, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The officer stopped the Chrysler, which pulled into a gas station on the 5000 block of Yellowstone Avenue.

Officers noted a strong smell of marijuana coming from the car. When informed of the smell, the driver and front seat passenger, later identified as Northern, said they had been with someone who was smoking marijuana but that they had not smoked any themselves.

An officer who was on the passenger side of the vehicle described Northern as being nervous and refusing to make eye contact with the officer. Because he was not wearing a seatbelt, the officer told Northern that the law required he wear one, to which Northern mumbled words the officer could not understand, according to the affidavit.

Due to the drug smell, officers told the driver and passenger to exit the vehicle so it could be searched.

The driver complied. Northern, on the other hand, exited the vehicle and began walking. Asked if he was armed, Northern told the officer that they could pat him down, then ran and jumped a fence into the backyard of a nearby home.

One officer ran after Northern, and the other stayed with the driver, who said that there was marijuana in the car that belonged to Northern.

As other officers were called in to assist in the search for Northern, the original patrolling officer searched the vehicle. Inside, the officer found a grocery bag containing marijuana and a hydra-flask belonging to Northern. The hydra-flask contained five baggies of suspected drugs, two hollow-point bullets and a scale.

Three baggies contained a total of 347 suspected fentanyl pills. Two baggies contained a total of 2.7 ounces — around 76.5 grams — of suspected amphetamines. The amphetamine was tested with a field testing kit, returning a presumptive positive. All items were sent to the Idaho State Police Forensics Lab for testing.

Police reports filed by other officers show that Northern ran toward a residential area near Stuart Avenue and Henry Road and jumped a fence into a backyard.

One of the officers present at the traffic stop informed fellow officers that Northern might be armed because he ran when asked if he was carrying any weapons.

Chubbuck police were assisted during the search by Bannock County Sheriff’s deputies.

As they were searching yards near Stuart and Yellowstone avenues, a deputy told officers they saw a man they believed to be Northern. An officer looked over a fence and described a man as “laying face-first in the dirt behind a small tree.”

Northern was told to stay down and not move as officers walked toward him with guns drawn, and made an arrest.

The driver was not arrested.

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

If he is found guilty, Northern could face life in prison.

He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before Magistrate Judge Todd Garbett Thursday.

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