Police hunting near Chemult for wanted man


Published May 11, 2007 at 01:04PM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

Oregon State Police and Klamath County law enforcement officials were searching this morning for an armed and dangerous fugitive who escaped from police Thursday night in Chemult.

The man they were looking for, Jose Celaya, 37, of Tucson, Ariz., is an armed career criminal wanted on an outstanding fugitive warrant held by the U.S. Marshal Service, according to a news release from the OSP. The warrant charges him with intent to distribute marijuana.

Police described Celaya as Hispanic, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighing 170 to 190 pounds, clean shaven with short brown hair and brown eyes. He was wearing a green and gray vertical-striped polo shirt and blue jeans, the news release stated. Celaya also may have a four-inch scar on his forehead and a tattoo of an eagle’s head on his right shoulder with the name ”Yvette” underneath the head.

He has a history of violence against police and is known to carry concealed weapons, the news release stated, and anyone spotting him should not approach him but instead call 911.

Celaya may still be in the Chemult area attempting to get a ride from a passing motorist, the news release stated. He may have also jumped on a freight train headed to the Willamette Valley.

The incident began about 7 p.m. Thursday when OSP dispatchers received calls about a car traveling north from Klamath Falls on Highway 97 and driving recklessly, according to the news release.

A trooper spotted the car parked at the Pilot Truck Stop in Chemult. Celaya, who was driving, looked intoxicated, the release stated, and he failed field sobriety tests. As the trooper was arresting Celaya, the passenger jumped out of the car and headed toward the officer. The trooper pushed Celaya away to protect himself. Both men then ran east across some railroad tracks and into the woods, the news release

stated.

Officers from Klamath Falls and Klamath County arrived to help search, and Sirus, a drug dog from the Klamath Falls police department, alerted troopers to five large bags containing 93 pounds of compressed marijuana in the car’s trunk, the news release stated. As they searched the area, officers even looked through a freight train at a local depot. The men were not found.

About four hours after the men ran, a resident living near Crescent Lake junction, about 28 miles west of Chemult, called police. The resident said a man came to his house asking for directions to Washington, the release stated. The homeowner had been listening to the events on a police scanner.

Police headed to the area and found Celaya’s passenger on Highway 58. They arrested Francisco Javier Gonzalez, 37, of Yakima, Wash. Gonzalez told police he and Celaya climbed on board the train, the release stated, but they jumped off at different times. Gonzalez was being held this morning in the Klamath County jail on

suspicion of manufacturing, possession and distribution of marijuana.