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3 men charged with obstruction in Yellowstone County jail escapee case

Joseph Henry Gonzales, Jeffrey Wayne Follet, Joseph Leon Gonzales
Posted at 3:22 PM, Sep 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 15:37:04-04

Three men have been charged in connection with the escape of two inmates from the Yellowstone County Detention Center over the weekend.

Joseph Henry Gonzales, 34 years old; Jeffrey Wayne Follet, 34; and Joseph Leon Gonzalez, 44, appeared in Yellowstone County District Court on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, to face charges related to Sunday's escape of inmates Quincy Dean Pfister and Cody Joseph Vernon Flesch.

Pfister and Flesch were caught the next day.

According to charging documents, Billings police received a tip that after breaking out of their jail cell through a window, Pfister and Flesch ran to the Colonial Apartments on the 200 block of South 28th Street.

Cody Joseph Flesch and Quincy Dean Pfister
Cody Joseph Flesch and Quincy Dean Pfister

An officer was watching the apartment complex and saw a vehicle pull up. Four men left the apartment complex and got into the vehicle, according to charging documents.

The officer followed the vehicle and attempted to pull it over on First Avenue North, but the driver drove away. Several officers joined the chase and pinned the vehicle in the northbound lanes of Main Street near MetraPark.

Once the vehicle stopped, one man - identified as Follet - jumped out of the back set holding a pistol, according to court documents. He ignored commands to drop the weapon, then tossed it on the road, tried to run away, and was arrested.

During Wednesday's arraignment, a Yellowstone County prosecutor said Flesch reached for the gun, but an officer was able to stop him.

The two escapees, Pfister and Flesch, were pulled from the back seat and arrested.

Cody Joseph Vernon Flesch and Quincy Den Pfister
Cody Joseph Vernon Flesch and Quincy Den Pfister

Prosecutors identified the driver as Joseph Leon Gonzalez and the last passenger as Joseph Henry Gonzalez.

Joseph Henry Gonzales was charged with two counts of obstruction. Joseph Leon Gonzalez was charged with two counts of obstruction, one count for criminal drug possession for pills found during the arrest and one count of fleeing. Follett was charged with two counts of obstruction, one count of obstructing a peace officer, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Flesch was arraigned on two charges related to the escape. Prosecutors requested bail set at $5 million because of the weapons charge, but bail remained at $1 million. Pfister's arraignment was postponed until Thursday.