Saturday, January 8, 2011

Would You Mind If I Just Locked Myself Up?

Mont. man arrested after giving cops the name of another wanted man

Jan 07 2011

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Authorities in Montana say a man who had three outstanding warrants for his arrest gave officers a false name during a traffic stop _ but ended up in custody anyway because that man was also wanted.

Court records say that during a traffic stop Monday in Great Falls, Jonothan Ray Gonsalez, of Box Elder, told police that his name was Timothy Michael Koop Jr.

The officer then learned a man by that name was wanted in Hill County and arrested him. Gonsalez protested his arrest as Koop, Jr. and gave his real name as Jonathon Ray Gonsalez.

Police say a search of Gonsalez after his arrest turned up half a gram of methamphetamine in his jacket pocket and he was charged with criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

The Great Falls Tribune reports that because Gonsalez gave his real name to avoid arrest as Koop, Jr. a charge of issuing a false report to law enforcement was added to the list of crimes with which he is charged.

No mug shot of Gonsalez was available but a police sketch artist provided the above sketch of Gonsalez. On viewing the sketch Gonsalez said it looked like Timothy Michael Koop Jr.

Gonsalez's court appointed attorney said he would seek dismissal of all charges against his client because of mis-identification. "The police don't know who they arrested," he said. "Further, I will ask the court to suppress the use of the seized meth as evidence because no probable cause warrant had been issued and the drugs were discovered only after Gonsalez or Koop, Jr. had been arrested on separate charges."

In an interview with reporters concerning the bungled arrest, the police chief, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said neither of the arresting officers would be disciplined but that both had been fired, for impersonating a police officer. He refused to divulge the names of the two officers because it was an internal personnel matter.

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