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Press Release

Rio Arriba County Man Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor Offense for Failing to Follow Direction of U.S. Forest Service Officer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Daniel K. Gonzalez, 35, of Gallina, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a misdemeanor offense of interfering with a U.S. Forest Service Officer under a plea agreement that recommends a sentence of 68 days of incarceration or time served.


Gonzalez was charged in a criminal complaint with resisting a U.S. Forest Service officer and recklessly operating a vehicle on July 24, 2017, in Rio Arriba County, N.M.  According to the complaint, Gonzalez disregarded commands from the officer to stop his vehicle by fleeing from the officer and driving recklessly through the Santa Fe National Forest.


Gonzalez subsequently was charged in a misdemeanor information filed on Sept. 15, 2017, with resisting and interfering with a U.S. Forest Service Officer, and recklessly operating a vehicle on a National Forest Service System road on July 24, 2017, in Rio Arriba County. 


During today’s proceedings, Gonzalez pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of interfering with a U.S. Forest Service officer.  In entering the guilty plea, Gonzalez admitted that on July 24, 2017, he was approached by a U.S. Forest Service officer who was engaged in the performance of his official duties in the protection of the National Forest System.  After giving the officer his identifying information, the officer informed Gonzalez that there was an active arrest warrant for Gonzalez out of Bernalillo County, N.M., and that Gonzalez could not leave.  Gonzalez admitted driving away and ignoring the officer’s commands to stop.  After fleeing from the officer, Gonzales drove his vehicle onto Forest Road 103, turned into and drove through the forest and a barbed wire fence before getting back onto the State Highway. 


This case was investigated by the U.S. Forest Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Letitia C. Simms.

Updated November 20, 2017