A Texas man posing as a licensed cop was sentenced to 63 months in prison for transporting prisoners on commercial airlines while carrying guns after a previous conviction for possessing a dangerous concealed weapon prohibited him from possessing firearms.
And he wasn’t even a real cop.
He also managed to secure a contract for a $100,000 a year job with the Frio County Jail to help turn it around after the Texas Commissions on Jail Standards shut it down for failing to meet state standards.
Frio County officials gave Bautista-Gunter the contract for the job because they believed he was a licensed police officer.
They were wrong. And they never bothered to do a background check on him.
“He said the right things, checked the right boxes,” Frio County Attorney Joseph Sindon said.
“As much as everyone here feels pretty silly about this, we weren’t the only ones he duped.”
They were right about that.
Bautista-Gunter masqueraded as a cop in Maryland where he was arrested several times.
In August of 2009, Bautista-Gunter and another man was stopped for trespassing.
Gunter raised his arms and allowed a Maryland State Police trooper to search him.
The trooper discovered a walkie-talkie and a collapsible police-style baton.
In 2010, he pleaded guilty to charges of possessing a dangerous concealed weapon and received a two-year suspended sentence
The conditions stipulated in his probation banned him from legally carrying a firearm and a judge ordered Gunter not to wear or carry badges, radios, batons, uniforms or other law-enforcement equipment.
In 2011, he landed back in court for violating probation and received a 45-day sentence after he was seen by police in a restaurant wearing a bullet proof vest, a baton and an empty vest.
At that time, Gunter worked as a bail-bonds company
In late 2014, Forrest Jordan Gunter legally changed his name to Jordan Jericho Bautista-Gunter, the name he went by in Texas where he landed the job running the Frio County Jail in a contract agreement with his firm located in Pflugerville in 2015.
After landing the job running the jail, an investigation against Bautista-Gunter was on-going for sexually harassing an employee.
But the jig was up in January 2016 when Bautista-Gunter arrived at a former jail inmate’s front porch in the middle of the night, making him provide a urine sample to test for drugs.
Pearsall police got wind of incident and were in for a rude awakening themselves when they discovered Bautista-Gunter was not a cop and charged him for impersonating a police officer.
Shortly after, he was arrested again, this time by the feds, who charged him with a prohibited person possessing a firearm for carrying a gun on a commercial airliner while transporting prisoners for Hays County.
Federal prosecutors sought a sentence higher than 63 months, alleging that after pleading guilty in the federal case, Bautista-Gunter hired a hit man for the Texas Mexican Mafia to kill to witnesses in Pearsall, where he faced charges for impersonating a police officer.
Those allegations unraveled when Bautista-Gunter’s paramour called the jail reporting that Ruben “Menace” Reyes called threatening her to be paid the $2,000 Bautista-Gunter offered.
Bautista-Gunter’s lawyer withdrew from the case after he became aware of a letter his client sent through him to his common law wife mentioning that Reyes ordered others to conduct the hits.