POCATELLO — One of two local men Pocatello police recently arrested for alleged drug offenses during separate incidents faces up to life in prison, according to court records.
Michael Joseph Voyles, 56, of Pocatello, has been charged with numerous felony narcotics-related charges in Bannock County this year, with his most recent arrest occurring during a traffic stop near Oak and Taft streets in Pocatello on Saturday evening, according to police reports the Idaho State Journal obtained this week.
The incident began to unfold around 11:30 p.m. when Pocatello police observed a man, later identified as Voyles, driving a black BMW with a malfunctioning headlight on the 200 block of Wilson Avenue, police said.
The police officer ran the plates of the BMW, which came back fictitious, though officers did not indicate in their reports what vehicle the plates actually belonged to. The officer initiated a traffic stop and Voyles stopped the car near the intersection of Oak and Taft streets, police said.
After the officer observed that Voyles appeared to be under the influence of narcotics when he approached the vehicle, he requested the assistance of a police K9, which provided a positive indication there were drugs in the vehicle, according to police.
Inside the center console of the vehicle, police located a bag of hypodermic needles, of which some were new, some were used, and one needle contained a transparent red liquid, police said. Police tested the red liquid, which provided a positive indication for methamphetamine.
Voyles was subsequently charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, arrested and transported to the Bannock County Jail.
Upon arriving at the Bannock County Jail, police officers observed a white crystalline substance in the back seat of the patrol car where Voyles was sitting, as well as on Voyles fingertips, police said. Police also observed a small plastic baggie on the back seat of the car that had been torn in half, said police, adding that another small plastic bag that had been ripped in half that still contained the white substance was located after a subsequent search of Voyles' person was conducted, police said.
The white substance in the patrol car and that found on Voyles' person both tested positive for meth, police said.
Voyles was charged with another felony charge for the destruction of evidence before being booked into jail, police said.
In total, Voyles has been charged with six counts of felony possession of a controlled substance stemming from incidents in June, July and November, as well as felony illegal possession of a firearm stemming from an incident in June. He also faces the felony destruction of evidence charge and a felony enhancement charge for being a persistent violator, the latter of which carries a penalty of at least five years and up to life in prison.
Not including maximum penalties for the persistent violator charge, Voyles faces up to 47 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines if convicted of the six felony possession of a controlled substance charges and the single felony destruction of evidence charge.
Voyles currently remains incarcerated at the Bannock County Jail with a $20,000 bond. He is due back in court on Dec. 7 for a hearing in which prosecutors will attempt to prove there is enough evidence against him to send his case to trial.
The other man Pocatello police arrested for drug-related charges was Michael John Gilbert, 42, of Pocatello. The incident involving Gilbert began to unfold around midnight on Saturday, police said.
While a Pocatello police officer was parked in the Jacksons Food Stores parking lot on South Fifth Avenue, he ran the plates on a vehicle in the same parking lot, which identified that the car belonged to Gilbert, police said.
Gilbert had an active arrest warrant stemming from an incident in October, according to court records.
While placing Gilbert in police custody, the officer conducted a search of Gilbert’s person and located a glass pipe and a package containing a white powdery substance that weighed 2.2 grams and later tested positive for meth, police said.
Gilbert was subsequently charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, arrested and transported to the Bannock County Jail in Pocatello where he remains incarcerated on a $10,000 bond.
Gilbert is due back in court on Dec. 7 for a hearing in which prosecutors will attempt to prove there is enough evidence against him to send his case to trial.
If convicted of the felony possession of a meth charge, Gilbert faces up to seven years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.