Man allegedly caught driving stolen motorcycle when license plates don’t check out
POCATELLO — A Pocatello man has been charged with grand theft and providing false identification after he reportedly gave officers a fake name.
William Peter Coziah, 24, faces a felony charge for grand theft and a misdemeanor charge for providing false information to an officer, according to court documents.
An officer with the Pocatello Police Department performed a traffic stop around 10:30 p.m. Friday near the intersection of North Arthur Avenue and West Custer Street after running the license plate of a motorcycle. According to an affidavit of probable cause, the license plate on the motorcycle was registered to a trailer.
When the officers asked the driver of the motorcycle about the license plate, he said he had purchased the bike one year ago and the plates came with it.
The driver did not provide the officer with any documents, telling the officer his name was Dewey Coziah, the affidavit says.
The officer had dispatch check the motorcycle by VIN number, which returned as stolen out of Utah.
Dispatchers also informed the officer that identification could not be found for Dewey Coziah, but forwarded the officer a license photo for a person named William Coziah, who had an outstanding warrant.
After confirming the image of William Coziah as the driver of the motorcycle, the officer once again asked the driver for his name. The driver once again allegedly provided the name Dewey. When the officer asked about the driver’s license photo, which the officer said looked like him and had matching tattoos, the driver said that his brother, William, had the same tattoos as him.
The officer then asked a witness who was with Coziah at the time of the stop what they knew Coziah’s first name to be. The witness told the officer that his name was William.
The officer determined the driver to be William Coziah and placed him under arrest.
Coziah was transported to Bannock County Jail, where he was booked and is currently being held on $20,000 bond.
The warrant for Coziah’s arrest stems from a 2016 felony charge for possession of a controlled substance.
He was also cited for numerous violations, including displaying fictitious plates.
Although Coziah has been charged with these crimes, it does not mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.
If he is found guilty of grand theft and providing false information to an officer, Coziah would face up to 14-1/2 years in prison and $6,000 in fines.
He is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing before magistrate judge Scott Axline on May 3.