Man charged with 12 felonies, misdemeanors
A 42-year-old California man, pulled over early Tuesday for a traffic stop, was charged with 12 felonies and misdemeanors including child endangerment for allegedly using a 15-year-old to conceal methamphetamine.
Bail was set at $53,391 for Tony George Gonsalves of Manteca, Calif.
Felony and gross misdemeanor charges include ex-felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance with enhancement for using a minor, possession of stolen property, possession of a dangerous drug without a prescription, and two counts of child endangerment.
Traffic charges include driving under the influence, unsafe passing, driving with a suspended or revoked drivers license, registration suspended or revoked for failure to maintain insurance, failure to wear a safety belt and speeding.
On Friday, East Fork Justice Tom Perkins appointed Derrick Lopez to represent Gonsalves, and set his next court appearance for Wednesday.
According to reports, deputies pulled Gonsalves over shortly after midnight Tuesday after witnesses reported a pickup truck unable to maintain travel lanes on Highway 395 northbound at Riverview Drive. The vehicle drove into a 25-mph zone at 40 mph and drifted between lanes.
The truck was pulled over, and deputies said Gonsalves’ speech indicated he was under the influence of a controlled substance.
He was unable to produce a driver’s license and a records check confirmed it had been suspended, along with the license plate.
He identified his 15-year-old passenger as his sister, but the girl acknowledged she was his daughter, and said her 6-year-old sister was in the back. Deputies found the little girl asleep on the truck bench without a seat belt.
While deputies were placing Gonsalves under arrest, the 15-year-old asked to use a rest room at the gas station where the vehicle was stopped.
After she returned to the vehicle, deputies were contacted by a gas station employee who reported finding what he believed was methamphetamine on the floor of the bathroom. He said the bathroom had been cleaned just prior to the 15-year-old entering the facility.
When questioned by deputies, the girl reportedly admitted she tried to destroy the methamphetamine. In addition, she had concealed a clear plastic bag with methamphetamine and three Xanax tablets in her clothing which she turned over to deputies.
The teenager admitted to deputies her father gave her the drugs after they were pulled over, and told her to dispose of them.
The girls were placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.
Deputies found a H&R Sportsman 22 revolver under the passenger seat.
Gonsalves had credit cards and a driver’s license in his pocket which reportedly had been stolen from a U.S. Forest Service vehicle three miles west of Sonora Pass the day before.
Contacted by deputies, the victim said he discovered someone broke into the vehicle and several items were missing.
He said someone got under the vehicle to access the fuel line and found hidden keys to unlock the truck.
The victim said his credit card was used several times in Bridgeport after the burglary for $900 in clothing, sporting goods and other items in addition to two fuel stops.
Deputies found new clothing in Gonsalves’ vehicle, according to reports.