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3 charged with obstruction in Yellowstone County jail escapee case

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Posted at 3:08 PM, Sep 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-14 17:47:16-04

BILLINGS - Three more men are now facing charges related to the escape of two inmates from the Yellowstone County jail over the weekend.

Joseph Henry Gonzales, 34, Jeffrey Wayne Follet, 34, and Joseph Leon Gonzalez Jr., 44, appeared in Yellowstone County District Court Wednesday to face obstruction charges related to the Sunday escape of inmates Quincy Dean Pfister and Cody Joseph Vernon Flesch.

The two were caught the next day.

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

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 fled. Multiple officers joined the pursuit 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 seat holding a pistol, according to court documents. He ignored commands to drop the weapon, then tossed it on the road and fled and was arrested, according to documents.

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

Related: Inmates escaped through Yellowstone County jail cell window

Related: 'An oversight on our part': How did 2 inmates escape from Yellowstone County jail?

Joseph Henry Gonzales was charged with two counts of obstruction. Joseph Leon Gonzalez Jr. 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.

Bail for all three was set at $500,000.

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.