On January 31, shortly after 10 p.m., an Idaho Falls Police Officer was patrolling in the area of Jennie Lee Drive when he witnessed two vehicles pull in to a parking lot and park next to each other. The officer watched the occupants of the two vehicles interact and due to the circumstances believed that he had witnessed a drug deal.
The officer pulled into the parking lot and activated his overhead lights as he approached the two vehicles. The first vehicle initially stopped, however, the second vehicle – a Dodge Stratus - attempted to flee. The Stratus pulled up on to the sidewalk and through some deep snow, where the vehicle became stuck in a snowdrift.
The driver, later identified as Jesse Kirby, exited the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot through the snow. The officer pursued in his patrol vehicle, ultimately pulling his vehicle in front of Kirby. While attempting to change direction, Kirby slipped on ice and ran into the patrol vehicle before falling to the ground. The officer exited his patrol vehicle and engaged with Kirby who continued to struggle until the officer placed him in handcuffs.
While the officer was pursuing Kirby, the other vehicle fled. Responding officers searched the area for that vehicle but were unable to locate it. That investigation is ongoing.
Officers searched along the path that Kirby had taken through the snow while attempting to flee and located a plastic grocery bag. Inside the bag were multiple baggies of a large amount of a white crystalized substance which the officers identified as methamphetamine. The bags were weighed and had a total weight of 458 grams – just over one pound.
Jesse Kirby, a 43-year-old Idaho Falls resident, was arrested for Felony Drug Trafficking, Felony Attempting to Elude a Police Officer, Resisting and Obstructing, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and an outstanding Parole Violation Warrant.