Armed man facing charges after being taken into custody - East Idaho News
Crime Watch

Armed man facing charges after being taken into custody

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AMERICAN FALLS — Police searched for an armed and suicidal man last week, found him, took him into custody, and now he’s facing criminal charges.

Ronald Lewis Lee Jr., 41, was booked into the Power County Jail on Thursday. He has been charged with felonies including unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of burglary and grand theft, according to a news release from the American Falls Police Department. 

RELATED | Police find armed suicidal man, who is safe

Tuesday, June 4

On Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., Lee was seen leaving his relatives home on the 500 block of Fillmore Avenue. The family reported there was a missing rifle and handgun, police said. 

Around the same time, a residential burglary happened on the 400 block of West Park Street. Property was reportedly taken from inside the home, and a 2006 Chevrolet Avalanche was stolen from the detached garage. 

The stolen vehicle was listed in the National Crime Information Center and law enforcement agencies were made aware of it. 

Police were called to the 200 block of Monroe Street for a family disturbance involving Lee after 12:15 p.m. Before police arrived, Lee had left the area in a red 2009 Mercedes Benz, a news release said. This was initially reported to police and previously wrote about it.

Around 1:45 p.m., the Power County Sheriff’s Office found Lee’s vehicle abandoned in a farm field at 2030 Frontage Road in American Falls.

Lee was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans and a black police style ballistic vest. He was armed.

“Police believe before the initial incident on Monroe Street, Lee committed the burglary and stole the Avalanche vehicle and staged the stolen vehicle at the location where he ended up ditching his red Mercedes. And after ditching the red Mercedes, he left in the stolen vehicle. At that time, it hadn’t been reported to police,” Chief Brandon Wilkinson told

Surveillance video from a Pocatello business showed Lee driving the stolen Avalanche after 2 p.m.

At 11:30 p.m., officers were dispatched to Jackson’s Convenience Store on 356 Lincoln Street, according to the release. 

Witnesses told law enforcement they saw Lee walking down the street before he went inside the store to the restroom. Employees reported the restroom door was locked and they could hear “something inside,” the release said. 

Officers got employees and customers out of the store. With assistance from the Power County Sheriff’s Office and the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office, police were able to clear the bathroom but found no one inside. 

Store security cameras were reviewed, and Lee was “never inside the store,” police said.

Thursday, June 6 

On Thursday, at 9:45 a.m., the stolen vehicle and missing firearms were recovered in American Falls by law enforcement.

After 10:45 a.m., Lee showed up at the Power County Sheriff’s Office “agitated and upset.” Lee was yelling that he wanted his property back from law enforcement, police said.

American Falls police officers and Power County deputies took Lee into custody. asked Police Chief Wilkinson if Lee is under a watch since he was considered suicidal. He said yes and the jail has a protocol for suicidal inmates.