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Spearfish man sentenced to 4 years in prison for drug possession, DUI, firearm charges

October 13, 2018

BELLE FOURCHE — A Spearfish man charged with possession of controlled substance and committing a felony with a firearm and driving under the influence was sentenced to serve four years in the state penitentiary with two-and-one-half years suspended.

According to court documents, a July 4 traffic stopped performed by South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremy Biegert culminated in the arrest of Nathan Edward Weidner, 21.

When Biegert approached the vehicle, Weidner, who was driving the vehicle, 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 a broken 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 – 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 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. Then, in accordance with a plea agreement with Butte County State’s Attorney Cassie Wendt, Weidner pleaded guilty Aug. 22 to possession of a controlled substance and driving under the influence. In exchange for the guilty pleas, Wendt dismissed the remaining charges.

In addition to the prison sentence, Weidner was also ordered to pay the Butte County Auditor for his costs of incarceration in the Meade County Jail, where Butte County prisoners are held; pay $633.50 in court-appointed attorney’s fees; and pay $1,038 in court costs and fines.

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