A 21-year-old Davenport man is behind bars after he misidentified himself and ran off during a traffic stop where police allege they found a gun and marijuana in an SUV.

Matthew Ponciano faces a felony charge of control of a firearm by a felon, along with serious misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance – first offense, person ineligible to carry dangerous weapons and malicious prosecution, according to court documents.

Matthew Ponciano (photo from Scott County Jail inmate listing.)

The incident

About 11 p.m. Sunday on the 1000 block of Utica Ridge Place, Bettendorf Police say Ponciano was a passenger in a Chevy Trailblazer that was stopped because it had extremely dark window tint on the front driver and passenger windows, arrest affidavits say.

“The two front windows appeared to be in violation of Iowa traffic code thus not allowing enough light into the vehicle,” according to affidavits. When an officer explained the reason for the stop to the driver, the officer allegedly smelled the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

(Ponciano) was asked if he had his ID or license with him and stated he did not. The driver was asked if there was any marijuana inside the vehicle, and said there was not. The driver later was informed the SUV was going to be searched based off the odor, and was asked again if there was any marijuana in it. The driver once again stated there wasn’t any, according to affidavits.

Police allege in the affidavits that Ponciano than “spoke up and said ‘There’s some in the bag back there’” and told the driver to give it to the officer.

The driver handed the officer 19.21 grams of raw marijuana (total package weight) and was asked to get out of the SUV.

“Officers observed (Ponciano) was making an overt movement toward the driver’s seat/center console,” affidavits say. Ponciano then was asked to get out of the SUV.

After Ponciano gave officers his identity (and used the wrong name) officers “assisted him” toward a patrol car, where he was going to be detained while a search of the vehicle was conducted, and Ponciano ran off, according to affidavits.

According to affidavits, officers told him to stop but he kept running. He “continued to interfere with the investigation and was later taken into custody.”

In the SUV, officers found a marijuana pipe containing burnt residue inside the center console. Also located in a backpack on the back seat (readily accessible and within reach of Ponciano) was 19.17 grams of raw marijuana (total package weight) and a digital scale containing marijuana residue, affidavits say.

Tucked between the driver’s seat and the center console right by the seat belt receiver was a BP9cc Bersa 9mm handgun, officers allege in affidavits.

Ponciano complained of arm pain and was transported to the hospital, where he misidentified himself. After he was read his Miranda Rights, he said he owned the gun, according to affidavits.

Affidavits say Ponciano was transported to the Scott County Jail. Police allege he knowingly tried to cause the person whose identity he claimed to be charged “with several indictable offenses,” affidavits say. Jail staff later notified officers that Ponciano was identified incorrectly.

During a post-Miranda Rights interview at the jail, Ponciano said he stole the gun from the person he pretended to be, according to affidavits.

Ponciano said he tossed the gun into the backseat and shoved it next to the seat when the traffic stop was initiated. He also said the marijuana was his.

Ponciano is being held on a $7,000 cash-only bond in Scott County Jail. He is set for a preliminary hearing Jan. 19 in Scott County Court.