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Two Conner men are facing felony drugs charges following a traffic stop that ended with the driver being Tased after he allegedly attempted to escape.

Ethan James Nelson, 18, and Blake Lee Keller, 20, appeared Monday before acting Ravalli County Justice of the Peace Robin Clute.

Ravalli County Deputy Attorney Angela Wetzsteon’s charging affidavit said the men were arrested following a traffic stop at about 1 a.m. on April 21 after Nelson failed to dim his vehicle’s high beams when it met a sheriff’s deputy car inside the Hamilton city limits.

The affidavit said Nelson initially provided the deputy with a false name and identification. The deputy ran the information through dispatch and found that no one matched the name Nelson had given him.

The deputy asked Nelson to step out of his car. When Nelson did so, he told the deputy he was from Utah, but the affidavit said he was unable to name the town in Utah where he was from.

Nelson's passenger, Keller, eventually told the deputy Nelson’s name.

The deputy knew that Nelson had an active probation warrant. As he walked toward Nelson to put him in handcuffs, Nelson attempted to run across the street. The deputy grabbed him and eventually took Nelson to the ground.

When Nelson continued to struggle, the deputy warned him that he would be Tased. When Nelson didn’t stop, he was Tased for 4 to 5 seconds, the affidavit said. He stopped fighting at that point.

When Nelson was searched, a small baggie was found with a white crystalline substance in it. Nelson allegedly said it was methamphetamine and he had received it from Keller, according to court documents.

While law enforcement officers were dealing with Nelson, Keller opened the passenger door. The officers told him to get back inside the car.

When a deputy went to the passenger side of the vehicle, he noticed a small baggie floating in a puddle next to Keller’s door. The bag contained a piece of white crystalline substance.

The affidavit said Keller immediately blurted out that Nelson had given it to him and he had thrown it out so it wasn’t in his sister’s car and he wasn’t caught with it.

Keller denied being in possession of methamphetamine, but would not voluntarily submit to a urine test. After a search warrant was granted, Keller submitted a urine sample that the affidavit said came back positive for marijuana, amphetamine and methamphetamine.

Nelson was charged with felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs and misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest, obstructing a police officer and driving while license was suspended or revoked.

Keller was charged with felony counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

Each man's bail was set at $10,000.


Associate Editor

Reporter for The Ravalli Republic.