If you’re going to pretend you’re a police officer, the worst thing you can do is pull over a couple of law enforcement agents.
John Shelton, 26, of Logan did just that on Wednesday, according to New Mexico State Police. On Wednesday afternoon, he was in jail facing charges of impersonating a police officer, a misdemeanor, in San Miguel County. His bond was set at $2,000, cash only, according to State Police Sgt. Emmanuel Gutierrez.
Earlier in the day, two agents for the New Mexico State Police Investigations bureau were traveling between Las Vegas and Trementina on State Route 104 in an unmarked state vehicle, Gutierrez said. They noticed a white Dodge pickup truck following them. When the pickup got closer, the driver activated red-and-white emergency lights, Gutierrez said.
The agents pulled over, believing that the pick-up was a law enforcement vehicle.
The driver of the pickup then approached the agents’ vehicle on the left side, identifying himself as Shelton, according to police.
Shelton was wearing a T-shirt, jeans and a handgun, police said.
He informed the agents that they had been speeding and asked why they were driving so fast, Gutierrez said.
When agents asked Shelton whether he was a police officer, he answered that he was a member of State Police Search and Rescue, an emergency medical technician, a firefighter and was currently being trained to become a police officer.
The agents then advised Shelton that he did not have authority to conduct traffic stops, police said.
The vehicles then went their own ways. Later, the investigations bureau agents did further research on Shelton and found he was not a member of any local fire department, New Mexico Search and Rescue, and was neither commissioned nor in the process of becoming commissioned to be a police officer.
By coincidence, Shelton drove by the agents’ location, where he was flagged down and arrested.
State Police are asking anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Shelton’s impersonation of a police officer to contact them at the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau in Las Vegas, 505-425-6771.