Man armed with machete busted with meth while on possible stolen ATV

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Nicholas Alvarado, left, was booked on drug and weapons charges while Thomas Reynolds was booked on warrants for failure to appear in court to answer to DUI charges.

Second man arrested on warrants for failure to appear in court regarding DUI charges

By Jon Johnson

PIMA – Nicholas Alvarado, 42, was arrested and booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility on Friday, Nov. 1, after being found in possession of methamphetamine and a machete while being a prohibited possessor of deadly weapons due to his felonious past. 

A second man who was with Alvarado, Thomas Edward Reynolds, 47, was arrested on two misdemeanor warrants for failure to appear in court on DUI-related charges from two separate cases and was booked into the jail as well. 

According to a Safford Police report, an officer was westbound on U.S. Highway 70 near 200 South when he saw Reynolds walking eastbound on the north side of the highway. Knowing Reynolds had an active warrant for his arrest, the officer turned around but couldn’t locate Reynolds at first. He then saw Reynolds on 300 South sitting by a parked ATV operated by Alvarado. Upon later examination, the Yamaha Raptor ATV was found to have been hastily painted black (including painting over the VIN) and had its ignition switch broken. 

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Nicholas Alvarado

As the officer approached the two men, both men began walking toward him. As Alvarado walked toward the officer he had his hands in his pockets and the officer drew his duty weapon and ordered Alvarado to keep his hands where he could see them. At that point, the officer also noticed Alvarado had a machete with a 10-inch blade in his possession. Another 5-inch blade knife would be later found in the same scabbard as the machete.  

The officer radioed for assistance and a Pima officer arrived on the scene. While placing the men into handcuffs, the Safford officer noticed a Mentos can that had fallen from Alvarado’s possession, according to his report. A baggie with one gram of meth was located inside the can. A meth pipe was also found on Alvarado during a search of his person. Alvarado claimed Reynolds had given him the meth and pipe shortly prior to the officer’s arrival. Reynolds denied doing so. 

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Thomas Reynolds

Alvarado also claimed to be performing work on the ATV and that a man from the Artesia area had given it to him to do so. He then changed his story and said Reynolds had given him the ATV. Reynolds denied having anything to do with the possibly stolen Raptor. 

Alvarado was then transported to the jail and booked on charges of possession of a dangerous drug (methamphetamine), possession of drug paraphernalia, and misconduct involving weapons. 

Reynolds was found to have a small pocketknife and a pink TASER in his possession that were taken for safekeeping. He was then transported to the jail and booked on his warrants. 

The ATV was transported to the Safford Police Department’s evidence garage for further investigation and to see if an owner could be identified. Upon inspection, it appeared as if the VIN had been altered as well as painted.

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