Spearfish man pleads guilty to drug possession, DUI
BELLE FOURCHE — A Spearfish man charged with possession of controlled substance and committing a felony with a firearm and driving under the influence (DUI) pleaded guilty in Butte County Wednesday.
Nathan Edward Weidner, 21, pleaded guilty to possession of a scheduled I or II controlled substance, methamphetamine, a Class 5 felony, punishable by up to five years imprisonment in the state penitentiary and a fine of up to $10,000, and DUI 1st offense, Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year imprisonment in the state penitentiary and a fine of up to $2,000.
According to court documents, a July 4 traffic stop in Butte County culminated in the arrest of Weidner.
When South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremy Biegert approached the vehicle being operated by Weidner, he advised Biegert that there was a pistol next to the seat inside the vehicle and told Biegert the trooper could retrieve the weapon.
Biegert reported that in addition to observing the odor of an alcoholic beverage, Weidner’s eyes were droopy and his speech was slow. Biegert retrieved the firearm and asked Weidner to accompany him to his patrol vehicle.
Once inside the vehicle, Biegert reported that Weidner had a hard time keeping his eyes open. A check of Weidner’s driving privileges showed he was unlicensed. Weidner reportedly advised Biegert that he had not been drinking and said that although he occasionally smoked marijuana, he hadn’t recently. Weidner reportedly showed impairment on a series of field sobriety tests but provided a preliminary breath test which yielded a 0.000 percent blood alcohol content.
A later search of Weidner’s vehicle resulted in the reported location of three syringes that had reside and clear liquid in them, a metal can with proven marijuana pipe, and a baggy with marijuana.
Weidner allegedly told officers that there was methamphetamine in the syringes and that they belonged to both he and a passenger with him. Weidner was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, possession of a controlled drug, possession of a firearm while in commission of a felony, driving without a valid license, and a seatbelt violation.
A Butte County grand jury indicted Weidner July 12 with one count of commission of a felony while armed with a firearm, a Class 2 felony, punishable by up to 25 years imprisonment in the state penitentiary and a fine of up to $50,000; one count of possession of a controlled substance –; and one count of driving under the influence, a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in the county jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
On July 20, Weidner bonded out of jail on a $1,500 unsecured bond.
At his Aug. 15 arraignment, Weidner pleaded not guilty to all charges.
In exchange for the guilty pleas, Butte County State’s Attorney Cassie Wendt dismissed the remainder of the charges against Weidner. He is scheduled to be back in court Oct. 3 to be sentenced.
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