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Fleeing suspects arrested for possession of cocaine

BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - Two adults were arrested Saturday night after fleeing from a Bonneville County Sheriff’s deputy and subsequently crashing their vehicle at the intersection of Utah Ave. and Pancheri Dr. in Idaho Falls. 

At around 11:00 p.m., a deputy attempted to stop a Suburban that did not have working taillights near Lindsay Boulevard and Highway 20. 

The vehicle sped away on Lindsay Boulevard toward Broadway at speeds more than 80 MPH in the 35 MPH zone and was observed running the traffic light at W. Broadway on to Utah Ave. 

Due to the extremely high speeds and dangerous driving behavior by the suspect, the deputy discontinued pursuit of the Suburban and notified other deputies and officers over the radio what had transpired. 

Moments later, Idaho Falls Police officers responding to the area advised they came upon the Suburban crashed at the intersection of Utah Ave. and Pancheri Dr. and witnesses in the area observed a female passenger and male driver flee the vehicle on foot. 

Officers in the area located the female near Guns N’ Gear and after a brief struggle over a drug pipe in her possession she was taken into custody. 

Soon after, the male was located attempting to hide in a nearby field and was taken into custody by officers. 

Deputies identified the two suspects as 38-year-old Tabitha G. McKnight of Shelley and 26-year-old Leonardo J. Lopez of Roberts, who later admitted to being the driver of the Suburban. 

Deputies and officers found the Suburban to have fictitious license plates and when searching for ownership information, located multiple items of drug paraphernalia and three bags of cocaine weighing more than 325 grams. 

During this time, Lopez and McKnight were found to have active warrants for their arrest, Lopez with three warrants out of Bingham County and McKnight with two warrants from the Idaho Falls Police Department. 

Both Lopez and McKnight were placed under arrest and transported to the Bonneville County Jail where they were booked on the outstanding warrants. 

In addition, McKnight was booked for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and felony possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.  

Lopez was also booked into jail for felony charges of eluding a police officer, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and misdemeanor driving without privileges. 

Idaho Falls Police cited and released Lopez for failure to maintain insurance, leaving the scene of an accident and fictitious display of a license plate. 

Through investigation, deputies working with Idaho Falls Police Officers and an IFPD K-9 Officer, were able to determine Lopez and McKnight were tied to a hotel room at the Quality Inn on River Parkway. Deputies obtained a search warrant for the room finding no one inside at the time of entry. A search of the room produced items indicating it was used by occupants, in addition to McKnight and Lopez, for drug transactions. 

Deputies and officers are continuing to gather information and investigate potential suspects tied to activity at the hotel and no further information is available at this time. 

Anyone with information about this case or any other crime is asked to contact dispatch at 208-529-1200 and ask to speak with a deputy or contact Idaho Falls/Bonneville County Crime Stoppers at 208-522-1983 to remain anonymous. Those with information can also report online at www.ifcrime.org or through the P3Tips app on your mobile device. 

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