Rafelita Miguelita Gallegos

Rafelita Miguelita Gallegos

A local fugitive involved in a high-speed chase with Bannock County Sheriff’s Office deputies through Pocatello and Chubbuck Monday evening is back on the lam after walking away from Portneuf Medical Center Tuesday morning, police say.

Rafelita Miguelita Gallegos, 36, of American Falls, was taken into police custody following a high-speed chase that began in the area of North Main and West Greeley streets shortly after 5 p.m. Monday.

The chase unfolded when a Bannock County sheriff’s deputy spotted Gallegos, who had multiple outstanding warrants in Bannock County, inside a vehicle.

The deputy initiated a pursuit that continued at high speeds in the downtown area and continued through Pocatello and into Chubbuck and then back to Pocatello, the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office said.

The sheriff’s deputies involved in the pursuit terminated the chase in the Yellowstone Avenue area of Pocatello and the suspect vehicle, a Cadillac sedan, was found abandoned a short time later in the parking lot of the Latter-day Saints church at Pershing Avenue and East Chapel Road around 5:20 p.m. Monday.

Sheriff’s deputies then located and arrested Gallegos outside of the Grease Monkey automotive repair shop in the 1000 block of Yellowstone Avenue.


A Bannock County Sheriff’s Office SUV on patrol in the Yellowstone Avenue area of Pocatello following Monday’s high-speed chase.

She was transported via Pocatello Fire Department ambulance to Portneuf Medical Center to be medically cleared following the pursuit. Gallegos around 6 a.m. Tuesday morning walked away from the hospital and is considered a wanted fugitive once again, Pocatello police say.

How Gallegos was able to walk away from the hospital and what charges she may face as a result of Monday evening’s chase remain unknown as Bannock County Sheriff’s Office deputies were not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

The Sheriff’s Office told the Idaho State Journal on Monday evening that it was not clear whether Gallegos was a passenger or the driver of the car.

The Journal reported in April that Gallegos was charged with battery on certain personnel and possession of a controlled substance, meth, with the intent to distribute, of which both are felonies, following an incident on April 20 on the 800 block of Alameda Road.

During the April 20 incident, officers conducted a search of Gallegos’ purse and located numerous items of drug paraphernalia that tested positive for meth, The Journal reported in April. Police also searched a bag that Gallegos was carrying and located over 27 grams of meth, 59 grams of marijuana, seven grams of psilocybin mushrooms and over five grams of THC concentrate.

{span}Gallegos refused to allow officers to place her into handcuffs during the April 20 incident and began twisting and turning in an attempt to get away, the Journal reported. The officers were able to get Gallegos on the ground but she continued resisting and kicked one of the officers in the chest, police said. Eventually officers were able to secure her in handcuffs.{/span}

She also has active warrants for an April 8 incident in which she was charged with two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance, a February 24 incident related to drug possession charges, and two incidents in March in which she possessed or used stolen back cards, court records show.

Gallegos’ Bannock County Public Defender Ashley LaVallee on May 4 successfully argued to have Gallegos’ bond reduced to $5,000 for each of the four felony cases despite objections from Bannock County Deputy Prosecutor David McNeill, court records show.

Gallegos posted the collective $20,000 bond on May 5 and was released from jail. Since her release, Gallegos failed to adhere to the conditions of her pretrial release, resulting in the multiple warrants for her arrest being issued, according to court records. Sixth District Judge David Kress presided over the bond-reduction hearing.

The felony possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute charge carries a maximum penalty of up to life in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

If convicted of the felony battery on certain personnel charge, Gallegos faces no less than one and up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

The two charges related to possessing or using a stolen bank card each carry a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.