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Fake cop hassles the wrong people in San Miguel County

SANTA FE, N.M. — A man driving a truck with police lights on top made a mistake Wednesday when he decided to make a fake police stop.

The two men he pulled over and accused of speeding on NM 104 in San Miguel County were actually State Police agents traveling in an unmarked truck.

When questioned by the State Police agents, John Shelton, 26, of Logan, who had a pistol on his hip, claimed to be a member of the New Mexico State Police Search and Rescue, an emergency medical tech and a fire fighter, and said he was being trained as a law enforcement officer – none of which would authorize him to make a traffic stop.

The real officers had police business to attend to and initially gave Shelton a warning and let him to. But they quickly determined they should try to find Shelton again and charge him impersonating an officer, according to a State Police spokesman.

When Shelton drove back by the officers, they flagged him down and he was arrested. The agents also determined that none of what Shelton had said about his connections to law enforcement was true.

The State Police are now asking for help in finding anyone else who may have been pulled over by Shelton.

Here is the full news release from the State Police

On Wednesday, August 7, 2013; agents of the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau were traveling on State Road 104 in San Miguel County. SR 104 runs east to west between Las Vegas and Trementina NM.

The two agents were traveling in a black unmarked New Mexico State Police Ford truck. While traveling, it was noticed that a white Dodge truck was following behind and began to close distance on the agents. The driver of the Dodge truck then activated red and white emergency lights and conducted a traffic stop on the agents.

The agents pulled over to see what the nature of the contact was for. The agents were under the impression the driver of the Dodge truck was a fellow law enforcement officer. The driver of the Dodge truck exited the vehicle and approached the driver’s side of the agent’s truck. The subject identified himself as John Shelton. Mr. Shelton was dressed in a t-shirt and jeans and had a pistol affixed to his right hip.

Mr. Shelton (26) is from Logan NM. Mr. Shelton advised the agents the reason he “pulled them over” was because of speeding; and wanted to know why they (agents) were driving so fast. When asked by the agents if he (Shelton) was a commissioned law enforcement officer, Mr. Shelton stated he is a member of the New Mexico State Police Search and Rescue, an emergency medical tech, a fire fighter, and currently being trained as a law enforcement officer. Mr. Shelton was unable to confirm being a commissioned law enforcement officer.

Agents advised Mr. Shelton he needed to be careful and did not have authority to conduct traffic stops. The contact then ended and the agents proceeded to conduct their official business. Based on the circumstances and the nature of the contact, upon completing their business, the agents furthered the investigation into the earlier contact with Mr. Shelton. It was concluded Mr. Shelton was and did impersonate a law enforcement officer.

Coincidently, Mr. Shelton drove by the location the agents were at and was flagged down. Contact was reestablished with Mr. Shelton and he was questioned about the traffic stop he made on the two agents. Through the investigation, agents learned that Mr. Shelton was not a member of any local volunteer fire department, NM SAR, and not commissioned law enforcement, nor was he in the process of being commissioned.

Mr. Shelton was ultimately arrested for impersonating a law enforcement officer (a misdemeanor). Mr. Shelton was booked into the San Miguel County Detention Center on a $2,000.00 cash only bond.

State Police would like anyone who feels they may have been victim to the above contact by Mr. Shelton to come forward. They are asked to call the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau in Las Vegas NM at 505-425-6771 ###