Two Bemidji Men Facing Felony Drug Charges
Two Bemidji men are facing two separate felony drug charges in Beltrami County after deputies found controlled substances in their vehicle during a traffic stop on January 3, 2020.
According to a criminal complaint, at approximately 12:23 a.m. on Friday, Bemidji Police Officer Jeffery Amey observed a vehicle stop at the intersection of 30th Street NW and Irvine Avenue NW in Beltrami County. The officer noticed that one of the brake lights on the vehicle was not functioning, so he conducted a traffic stop.
Officer Amey identified the driver as 32-year-old Nicholas Virgil Blackbear. According to court documents, the officer noticed Blackbear had “dilated pupils, droopy eyelids and glassy watery eyes.” Officer Amey had Blackbear undergo a standard field sobriety testing, because he was concerned Blackbear was under the influence of a controlled substance, according to the criminal complaint.
During the field sobriety testing, Officer Amey observed Blackbear showed signs of impairment. When he was asked about controlled substance use, Blackbear indicated he had not used fentanyl and heroin since his last arrest in 2017. Blackbear was placed under arrest for driving while impaired.
Officer Bidal Duran responded to assist Officer Amey and had contact with the vehicle’s passenger, 23-year-old Brandon James Madigan. According to the criminal complaint, Officer Duran observed in plain view an empty pen tube with brown residue on the driver’s seat. He also observed a tin foil bindle and two additional bindles tucked between the arm rest and the driver’s seat.
A search of the vehicle was conducted. Law enforcement found a bindle on the driver’s seat that contained a brown granular substance that field tested positive for heroin and a Michael Kors purse near Madigan’s feet. Inside the purse, law enforcement found Madigan’s ID and a white crystalline substance that field tested positive as methamphetamine.
Blackbear and Madigan were transported to the Beltrami County Jail. Once at the jail, Officer Amey gave Blackbear the Miranda warning and took a recorded statement. Blackbear admitted to using heroin in the last few hours. Blackbear indicated the methamphetamine in the vehicle was not his.
Officer Amey then met with Madigan, and gave him the Miranda warning. Madigan admitted the Michael Kors bag did not belong to Blackbear, and had no explanation as to how his identification got inside the purse containing methamphetamine.
The criminal complaint said the suspected methamphetamine weighed approximately 0.4 grams with packaging on an uncertified scale. The suspected controlled substances will be sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) for further analysis.
Officers Amey drafted and obtained a search warrant for a sample of Blackbear’s blood. The sample of Blackbear’s blood will be sent to the BCA for further analysis.
Blackbear has a prior federal conviction for Dangerous Drugs from 2017. Blackbear is on supervised release until November 22, 2021. He also has a case pending in Beltrami County with charges of felony fourth degree sale of a controlled substance, and felony third degree possession of heroin.
Madigan has a pending case in Beltrami County with charges of felon in possession of a firearm and felony fifth Degree Possession of Heroin.