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Santa Rosa police arrested a man today on suspicion of intimidating a witness to a vehicle collision involving two alleged gang members who fled the accident scene, a police sergeant said. Santa Rosa police caught Jason Pope, 23, of Santa Rosa, after a pickup truck he was riding in collided with a fence on Dutton Avenue in Santa Rosa during a police pursuit on May 26, Sgt. Rainer Navarro said.
Officers found illegal narcotics packaged for sale in the truck, Navarro said. The driver of the truck, 29-year-old Karl Gray of Santa Rosa, escaped but was located and arrested on June 7 in a residence on Ward Road in Santa Rosa. Both Pope and Gray are convicted felons, and they face drug and weapons charges with gang enhancements, Navarro said. During the past week, a witness in the case against Gray was approached by one of Gray’s associates, Richie Michelson, 29, of Santa Rosa, Navarro said.
Michelson made several threats to the witness’s safety, and on Monday Michelson tried to dissuade the witness from testifying against Gray by making a credible threat, Navarro said. Detectives then got a warrant for Michelson’s arrest and a warrant to search two properties in Santa Rosa, Navarro said. Officers found Michelson Thursday hiding in an outbuilding in the 800 block of Ludwig Avenue. He was arrested without incident for witness intimidation and two gang enhancements and booked into the Sonoma County jail under $1 million bail, Navarro said.
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