Man faces felonies after giving false ID to officer
COAL TOWNSHIP - A Mount Carmel man told police that his father, whom he identified as a Northumberland County judge, would be mad after he was issued traffic citations in October. Turns out his father isn't the judge, and both he and his girlfriend now face felony charges.
Jeffrey Trice, 26, of 404 E. Sixth St., first told Coal Township Patrolman Ed Purcell Jr. that his name was "Sean Henz," who was later learned to be Trice's stepbrother, after Trice was pulled over at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 24 near McDonald's on Route 61, according to a criminal complaint.
There was no record for the name with the date of birth Trice provided. Police say he then confessed that his real name was "Chad Wiest."
Jessica Wiest, 22, also of 404 E. Sixth St., was in the passenger seat. She owns the vehicle Trice was driving. Police say she handed Trice her military ID. It had both her name and that of her estranged husband, Chad Wiest.
The information and the date of birth Trice provided checked out and Purcell wrote two citations. Still posing as Wiest, police say Trice claimed his "father," Judge William H. Wiest, would be upset. Purcell replied "Wiest" could explain to his "father" why he initially provided a false name of Sean Henz and why he received two citations, the complaint states.
Purcell eventually learned Trice was not Chad Wiest and confirmed as much after finding the latter man's photograph on a law enforcement database. Both Trice and Jessica Wiest were interviewed at the township station Jan. 9, when the latter said she had paid the citations that were filed in her estranged husband's name.
Police say both Trice and Jessica Wiest confessed to their roles in the alleged deception, and both said they did so because Trice had no driver's license, according to the complaint.
Trice, police say, said he knew Chad Wiest's father was a judge and that he had been sentenced by the judge in the past.
Both Trice and Jessica Wiest face felony conspiracy, two felony counts of forgery, misdemeanor counts of unsworn falsification, false reports and false identification. Trice also faces summary counts of driving with a suspended license, driving an unregistered vehicle and failing to stop at a red traffic light. Jessica Wiest faces an additional summary count of permitting a violation of her vehicle's title.
Both were arraigned Thursday by Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III and released on $10,000 unsecured bail, and both are scheduled for preliminary hearings Tuesday.