Man who allegedly had a stolen handgun faces felony charges - East Idaho News
Crime Watch

Man who allegedly had a stolen handgun faces felony charges

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POCATELLO — A man police say was in possession of fentanyl and a stolen gun faces a trio of felony charges.

Noe Otoniel Varela-Orozco, 46, has been charged with grand theft, possession of fentanyl and introducing contraband into a correctional facility, court records show. He also faces a misdemeanor charge for possession of drug paraphernalia.

While patrolling Bench Road around 4:30 a.m. on March 13, a Pocatello police officer saw an Audi A6 with Utah dealer plates, according to an affidavit of probable cause. When the dealer plates did not return registration, the officer initiated a traffic stop.

The officer approached the car and saw several pieces of tinfoil near the center console and in the passenger door of the Audi. The driver, later identified as Varela-Orozco, permitted the officer to search the car, the affidavit says.

During the search, officers found a Sig Sauer 9mm handgun they later determined to be stolen.

Dispatch also reported to the searching officers that Varela-Orozco had an active warrant out of Bonneville County for failure to appear on a misdemeanor drug charge.

Varela-Orozco was arrested and taken to Bannock County Jail for booking.

During booking, Varela-Orozco was searched and found to be in possession of 20 “dirty 30” fentanyl pills and a “tooter” straw.

Police reports do not indicate whether the Audi had been stolen.

Varela-Orozco is being held at Bannock County Jail on a $20,000 bond.

Though Varela-Orozco 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, Varela-Orozco could face up to 27 years in prison.

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