A California man with a pending sentence for drug possession in Cortez has twice eluded law enforcement, officials say, once in court and again in a police pursuit.
On Aug. 1, Alejandro Reyes left the Montezuma County Combined Courthouse when he shouldn’t have because his bond had run out, according to the 22nd Judicial District Attorney’s office. A bench warrant was issued.
Then on Aug. 3, after a man identified as Reyes was spotted driving on Empire Street, he allegedly led a Cortez police officer on a high-speed chase through Cortez, and was lost after the chase was called off for public safety.
During his court appearance on Aug. 1, Reyes had pleaded guilty to drug possession, and a one-year sentence was recommended by prosecutors in a plea deal.
Reyes waived a presentence investigation process that determines whether a sentence is appropriate and whether services such as substance abuse counseling are needed.
District Court Judge Doug Walker was imposing the recommended sentence when Reyes suddenly requested the presentence investigation. Walker then announced the plea deal was “tentatively” accepted and granted Reyes his request.
But according to the DA’s office, during the paperwork process, Reyes was not able to obtain a consent of a surety bond from his bondsman that would allow him to be free pending the sentencing hearing.
He then left the courthouse, but should have been taken into custody when his bond was not extended, said Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin.
“We are working with court staff and security so it does not happen again,” he said.
Then on Aug. 3, Reyes was allegedly spotted driving a gray Nissan Sentra, according to a Cortez Police Department report. When Cortez patrol deputy Brent Jarmon attempted to pull Reyes over with lights and sirens because of the active warrant, he refused and began evasive maneuvers, according to the report.
Jarmon chased Reyes onto South Broadway, with speeds reaching 78 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to the report, and the suspect also ran a red light. The pursuit was then called off for public safety purposes, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs was notified that the vehicle was heading in its direction.
A second warrant was issued for Reyes for charges including vehicular eluding, driving without a license, reckless driving, speeding, unsafe passing and running a red light and stop sign.