A Driggs resident has pleaded guilty to one count of criminal delivery of marijuana, and in a separate civil case, he forfeited over $7,000 of cash to the Teton County Sheriff’s Office.
In the summer of 2020 an individual reported to the sheriff’s office that Jonathan Kehl, then 68, was selling controlled substances out of his residence in downtown Driggs. The individual assisted the sheriff’s office in its investigation by making several marijuana purchases from Kehl, according to the sheriff’s declaration.
“The sheriff’s office is definitely building its narcotics program and is able to perform more sophisticated investigations,” said Teton County prosecuting attorney Bailey Smith.
In January of 2021, a deputy pulled over a driver who was leaving Kehl’s house, and seized marijuana from the vehicle.
Kehl was charged with three counts of felony delivery of a controlled substance and pleaded not guilty in March. Earlier this month the prosecutor and Kehl’s attorney, Chad Marlowe, reached an agreement with the defendant, who on Sept. 21 pleaded guilty to one count and saw the others dismissed.
The criminal case wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, the prosecutor noted; she emphasized that it was the forfeiture case, handled by the civil deputy prosecuting attorney, that was significant.
“It’s a whole separate case,” Smith said about the forfeiture. “And it’s a step that wasn’t frequently taken by this office in the past.”
The sheriff’s office will claim the $7,314 to put toward future investigations.