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Published: Thursday, 2/15/2007

2 charged with pretending they were sheriff's deputies

BRYAN - Two Montpelier, Ohio, men were arrested Tuesday night after claiming they were from the Williams County Sheriff's Office and asking people for their snowmobiles, the sheriff's office reported.

Joseph Belknap, 21, and Korey Kunkel, 20, were charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer, a first-degree misdemeanor.

The men were arrested about 11 p.m. and taken to the Bryan Police Department, where they each posted 10 percent of their $10,260 bonds. They are to appear today in Bryan Municipal Court.

The men were calling Williams County residents saying they were attempting to collect snowmobiles to be used by the sheriff's office because of the extreme weather conditions.

The men are not affiliated with the sheriff's office and were attempting to gain control of the snowmobiles for their own use, deputies said.

The sheriff's office is still investigating the incident to see how many people received the phone calls. Additional charges could be filed pending the outcome of the investigation, deputies said.

In December, Mr. Belknap was indicted by a Fulton County grand jury and charged with vehicular assault. He is accused of causing serious harm to Samantha Jo Campbell with a vehicle on Sept. 3 in Fulton County.

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