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Man impersonating police officer arrested after pulling over speeding police car

By Mason White 9:08 AM August 9, 2013
John Shelton 

By: Eva Fett
(Scroll down for video) A man was arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer related charges after he stopped a speeding police car claiming he was a police officer and authorized to make traffic stops, according to police reports in New Mexico.

The man, who was driving a truck with police lights on top, was busted on Wednesday when he decided to make a phony police stop.

The man detained two police officers, who were speeding on NM 104 in San Miguel County and were agents of the State Police traveling in an unmarked police vehicle.

When questioned by officers of the State Police, John Shelton, 26, of Logan, said he had a gun on his hip, and said that he is a member of the New Mexico State Police Search and Rescue unit. He also claimed to be an emergency medical technician, a firefighter, and a student being trained as an officer of the law, none of which would authorize him to make a traffic stop.

The State Police officers, who had to attend an important police matter, initially gave Shelton a warning and let him go, but they quickly determined that Shelton should stopped and arrested for impersonating a police officer, according to a spokesperson for the State Police.

When Shelton drove by the officers again they arrested him. Officers also determined that nothing that Shelton had said about his connections with the police was true.
State police are asking for help in finding any other person, who may have been detained by Shelton.

The New Mexico State Police released this statement.
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.