Prior convictions upgrade possession charge to felony

By Sarah Pridgeon

Jordan Jones of Bozeman, Montana faces a felony charge of possession after being pulled over for speeding in Crook County. The arrest took place on April 25 at 4 p.m. and, after discovering prior possession convictions on his record, the charge has been upgraded to a felony.

A Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper was patrolling westbound on Hwy 212 when he observed a grey hatchback with California plates speeding in the opposite direction at 80 mph in a 70 mph zone. He initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as Jones, who admitted he had been going a little fast as he had just passed a semi-truck.

While speaking with Jones and his passenger, the trooper reports that he noted the odor of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle and saw that Jones’ eyes were red, bloodshot and glassy. Jones allegedly denied having drunk alcohol since two days prior and denied there being any open containers in the vehicle.

According to court reports, Jones was unable to focus on the tip of the trooper’s finger when he held it up and could not follow it smoothly with his eyes when it moved back and forth. Jones was allegedly adamant he had not drunk alcohol within the last 24 hours but refused to perform a breath test, telling the trooper that his attorney had advised him to do so.

When the trooper returned to the vehicle to speak with the passenger, he allegedly smelled marijuana. A search of the vehicle allegedly uncovered a purple tin “one hitter” box that was labeled to contain marijuana from California, containing a single bud of marijuana, an opened bottle of whisky and a “one hitter” box containing a pipe and a small amount of marijuana.

The passenger allegedly claimed that one of the “one hitter” boxes was hers and the other belonged to Jones. Though Jones was at first charged with a misdemeanor count of possession, it was later discovered that he has three prior possession convictions and the charge was upgraded to a felony.

Jones consequently faces on felony charge of possession of a controlled substance, third or subsequent offense, carrying a maximum penalty of five years’ incarceration, a $5000 fine or both. He has known prior convictions in Lincoln County and Clay County from 1998 and Minnehaha County in 2006, all in South Dakota.

He was also charged with misdemeanor counts of open container of alcohol in a moving vehicle and speeding.