Christopher Barnes lost his job this week, and it appears his older brother might to be blame.
Andrew Barnes, 22, used his 21-year-old brother’s name when he was arrested on felony drug charges. After news of the arrest appeared in the Gazette-Times newspaper, Christopher Barnes was fired from his job at an electronics manufacturing company in Corvallis.
Jeff Barnes, the father of the brothers, said the identity ruse is one of Andrew’s old tricks. “He first did that about 10 years ago. He’s done it numerous times.”
Benton County Sheriff’s Lt. Greg Ridler said a deputy arrested Andrew Barnes on Jan. 19 after finding a stash of methamphetamine and marijuana during a traffic stop,
Andrew had no identification with him, and when he was taken to the Benton County jail for booking, he told deputies he was Christopher.
The authorities looked him up in the system and found a mug shot of Christopher from a prior arrest for driving under the influence of intoxicants.
Ridler said the brothers looked similar enough that deputies proceeded with the booking. According to the Oregon Judicial Information Network, Andrew is 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 135 pounds. Christopher is 6 feet tall, weighing 175 pounds.
“This individual was good at pretending to be his brother,” Ridler said.
Andrew was booked and released. He had a warrant out for his arrest on a parole violation and would not have been released if deputies had known his true identity, Ridler said.
As for Christopher Barnes, he lost his job at Videx, an electronics manufacturer, on the same day an item on the arrest appeared in the morning newspaper. Jeff Barnes and Ridler say no one at Videx would reveal why Christopher was being fired after two months on the job.
Ridler said Thursday he met with Videx executives and let them know Andrew was the Barnes arrested on manufacturing, delivery and possession of a controlled substance — not Christopher.
Jeff Barnes said he hopes Christopher’s name is cleared and he can return to work. The authorities are still looking for Andrew, and Jeff Barnes said he has supplied information that may help investigators find him.