July 7, 2017

Constables face felony charges



STROUDSBURG - Two Pennsylvania State Constables from Monroe County are facing charges of perjury and related offenses following an investigation by detectives from the Monroe County Office of the District Attorney.

Roger Metzgar, 45, of Tobyhanna Township, and Manuel Rodriguez, 61, of Delaware Water Gap, were arraigned on Wednesday and released on $25,000 unsecured bail.

In July of 2016, County Detectives stopped Rodriguez after he was observed driving in the Borough of Stroudsburg with tinted windows and an emergency vehicle-style lightbar mounted on the roof of his vehicle.  Under Pennsylvania law, vehicles owned by Constables are not considered government vehicles and are not permitted to have tinted windows.  Similarly, Constables are not authorized to install flashing emergency vehicle-style lights on their vehicles.

During the traffic stop, it was discovered that the lights on Rodriguez’s vehicle were actually blue in color, which he claimed he was authorized to have as a volunteer member of a search and rescue team known as Defiance Search and Rescue.  That search and rescue team was founded by Metzgar, a fellow State Constable.

Investigation led detectives to believe that the search and rescue team wasn’t legitimate and had been created for the purpose of circumventing the restriction on its members’, many of whom are Pennsylvania State Constables, use of emergency lights.  Rodriguez was subsequently issued a traffic citation for both the tinted windows and for having unauthorized flashing blue lights on his vehicle.

After being found guilty of the traffic offenses, Rodriguez appealed the conviction, and in May of 2017, a summary appeal hearing was held in the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas, during which Metzgar again testified.

During the two proceedings, Metzgar and Rodriguez knowingly made several false statements under oath, and detectives were able to later obtain evidence proving that those statements were untrue.  Additionally, Metzgar had produced a document, which was accepted into evidence by the Court, and which investigators later determined was a fabrication that Metzgar purported to be a copy of an original that had never existed.

Rodriguez faces charges of Perjury, a felony, as well as False Swearing and attempted Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function, both misdemeanors.

Metzgar faces charges of Perjury, Forgery, and Tampering with Public Records or Information, all felonies, as well as Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence, False Swearing, and attempted Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function, which are all misdemeanors.

A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Monday, July 24

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