A Muldrow man was charged with harboring a fugitive from justice after a Nov. 6 traffic stop, records show.
When a Roland police officer saw a dark-colored Chevrolet Equinox traveling with no headlights on Paw Paw Road in Roland, he initiated a traffic stop and met with the vehicle’s driver, who gave his name as Benjamin Estes.
Estes told the officer he didn’t have his driver’s license on him but said it had been issued in Washington state. He also stated that he was 35 years old, from Tahlequah and previously had an Oklahoma driver’s license.
There were three passengers in the vehicle, Rosie Garris, Ronnie Joe Britton and Garris’ nine-year-old daughter. A records check showed that Garris and Britton had no warrants, and a search of the name Benjamin Estes turned up nothing.
The officer then asked the passengers what the driver’s actual name was, to which Garris replied, “Benjamin,” but did not give a last name. She then said there was a wallet in the vehicle that may have the man’s real name. The woman pulled a card from the wallet with the name “Benjamin Webster” on it.
When the officer confronted Webster, he said Estes was his “other” name but that his legal name was Webster.
A records search revealed that Webster had a U.S. Marshals hold for assault on a corrections officer and escape. He also had an extradition order out of Cherokee County for multiple warrants. Records also indicated that Webster was a registered sex offender and was listed as a violent sexual predator.
When Webster was placed in the patrol car, he told the officer that Garris and Britton knew him as Benjamin Webster. Britton had previously insisted to the officer that Webster’s last name was “Estes.”
Britton, 28, of Muldrow was arrested for obstruction at that point and he and Webster were transported to the Roland Jail. Garris was later charged with harboring a fugitive.
Garris and her daughter reportedly had been living with Webster for about three weeks. The officer then informed Sequoyah County Deputy Amy Edwards that Webster was living in Sequoyah County and that her child was living there with her. Britton also stayed at the home, according to Webster.
Webster told the officer that he previously lived in Spokane, Wash., and had been back in Oklahoma for about a month. He said he hadn’t registered with Sequoyah County as a sex offender but had last registered in 2018 with Cherokee County.
Britton’s charge was changed to harboring a fugitive from justice after the officer’s talk with Webster. All three were transported to the Sequoyah County Jail.
Britton was released on $3,000 bond.
The harboring charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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