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Widmer 6th grade teacher arrested on gun charges
Incident not during work hours

A 6th grade teacher from Joseph Widmer Elementary School in Lathrop was arrested on New Year’s Eve in Stockton on weapons charges and obstructing a law enforcement officer.

According to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, the agency’s Community Service and Enforcement Team executed a vehicle stop at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (Charter Way) and Lincoln Street and were initially unable to ascertain the name of the driver. The passenger in the vehicle, Nicole Williams, was reportedly uncooperative with deputies and reportedly lied about the identity of a man who was eventually identified as Juan Godinez – who was wanted on multiple warrants.

A search of the vehicle, according to law enforcement, produced a loaded handgun, and both Godinez and Williams were taken into custody.

“A teacher employed with the Manteca Unified School District was arrested on December 31, 2018. The subject of the arrest was unrelated to his/her employment, and the arrest did not occur on school property or while performing any actions of the district,” Manteca Unified Human Resources Director Dante Alvarez wrote in a statement. “This is a personnel issue that is under investigation.

“The safety and well-being of our students is always our highest priority, and all safety policies and procedures continue to be followed.”

Williams was arrested for obstructing or resisting a peace officer, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, and carrying a loaded firearm. Godinez was taken into custody for three outstanding warrants as well as providing false identification to law enforcement and a host of weapons charges stemming from a felony conviction that ruled him ineligible to possess one.

A woman claiming to be Nicole Williams – who used a different last name in her social media profile – commented on a post made by the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office detailing the arrests stating that she told the officers that the gun was in the vehicle, and that it was not loaded. She also claimed that the gun was registered legally to her, and that she was simply transporting it between houses, and that she couldn’t legally store it in a locked trunk because she was in a pickup truck at the time of the traffic stop.

She also claimed that Godinez failed to give officers his name because he was in the country illegally and was not aware that he had warrants for his arrest.

Godinez is currently in custody at San Joaquin County Jail on $960,000 bail and will face charges for his new case – as well as the three misdemeanor warrants for driving under the influence and operating a motor vehicle while being unlicensed – when he appears in San Joaquin County Superior Court on January 18.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.