Bemidji man faces drug possession charges
BEMIDJI -- A traffic stop that began when police spotted a Bemidji man not wearing his seat belt turned into a foot chase through the Paul Bunyan Mall on Tuesday evening, ending with an arrest and seizure of a small amount of drugs.
DeVaughan Laditris Rainey, 18, was arraigned Thursday on one count of fifth-degree drug possession and one count of fleeing a peace officer by means other than a motor vehicle.
Just after 5 p.m. Tuesday, an officer with the Bemidji Police Department initiated a traffic stop after seeing a passenger in a car not wearing a seat belt. The driver pulled into Lueken’s Village Foods North, 1171 Paul Bunyan Dr. NW, at which point the passenger, later identified as Rainey, opened the door and fled the scene. The driver said he didn’t know Rainey well and was giving the man a ride. Police allowed the driver to then leave the scene.
A short time later, police spotted Rainey near an entrance to the mall. As they approached, Rainey began to walk away, according to the complaint. He ignored orders to stop, police said, and ran through a rear exit of J.C. Penney’s.
He was taken into custody by an officer waiting there.
Police found three ecstasy tablets in Rainey’s possession. An employee at the store said Tuesday a customer found a bag of suspected marijuana near where Rainey exited the building shortly after the chase. The criminal complaint makes no mention of any such bag being found, or confiscated by police.
Rainey is scheduled to appear in court Monday. The drug charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail, a $10,000 fine or both. For fleeing police, Rainey faces a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.