Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Separate Incidents, Deputies Prevent Suicides

Local Suicide Attempts Foiled By Deputies

Mesa County, Colo. -- Deputy Bunch was just over midway through his patrol shift last Wednesday when he was dispatched to a suicidal male on F Road, in the Clifton area. It was 1:23 a.m.

Deputy Bunch arrived at the residence, where he located an adult male in the front yard surrounded by several people. The man in the yard had a strong smell of gasoline on him and a lighter in his hand. Deputy Bunch asked the man if he would speak with him and he agreed. 

Through the course of the short conversation, on the front lawn, Deputy Bunch determined the man was upset over his girlfriend attempting suicide just a few days prior. He expressed several frustrations and made disparaging comments.

Ultimately, Deputy Bunch was able to talk the man into handing over the lighter. Emergency medical personnel checked the man out initially on-scene and then transported him to the local VA Hospital for further evaluation.

And just yesterday, Deputy Brooks responded to a suicidal female on D Road, in the middle of the day. This 18-year-old woman initially admitted to trying to overdose on a controlled prescription drug and then tried to inject paint thinner into her body intravenously.

Ultimately, Deputy Brooks transported the woman to Mind Springs for mental health treatment.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month and the Mesa County Health Department recently published some local information on the topic. Additional information can be found at the Western Colorado Suicide Prevention Foundation website.

Recent Scams Recapped

Recent Scams Recapped

Overpayment Scam With Western Slope Flare 

A scam on Western Colorado's Swap Meet website offers a typical overpayment deception. The instructions or offer, advise an unsuspecting victim to contact a person who will hire you to have a popular business/product decal(s) installed on your vehicle. Payment for this recent deception is, $300.00 a week. Sounds almost too easy to make that kind of cash, right? That's a major clue it's likely some sort of scam.

Ultimately, they send you a check for $2,250.00, or another amount significantly larger than the payment you should receive. The instruction are to take out the $300.00, payment and give a representative placing the decals on your vehicle the balance of the overpayment.

This scam works when the victim cashes the overpayment check against their personal bank account and hands over the overpayment amount before the bank can come back and tell you the check was forged or written on a closed account. The cash is typically gone along with any possible suspect(s) long before the victim has time to report the scam to law enforcement.

Grandparent's Scam

Deputies have received recent calls about this scam we have seen in Western Colorado a number of times over the years, always with a new twist. The latest version went something like...

Scammer: "Hello ma'am, this is Officer Joe with the Canadian Police. Your grandson was arrested for drunk driving and he thought you might be able help him. Is that correct?"

Victim: "Yes, of course! Is Mike, okay? Did he hurt anyone?"

Scammer: "Ma'am he is fine. Let me transfer you to the warrant division. Hold the line for just a moment."

Victim: "Okay."

A minute goes by...

New Scammer: "Ma'am, this is Sgt. Keating with the Canadian Police, warrant division. Your grandson Mike is in our custody and I understand you are willing and able to assist him pay a fine and get released?"

Victim: "Yes, of course."

New Scammer: "Great. You will need to wire three thousand dollars to..."

Anytime someone cold calls you (unsolicited on your behalf), explains a scary or legal scenario where a money exchange needs to happen to clear up the situation, that's most likely a scam. Sadly, this scenario plays out on the heartstrings of the relationship and bond between grandparent and grandchildren. Always verify the agency, the location of your grandchild needing "assistance" and contact other family members before blindly sending money anywhere.

Keep in mind, the variations on this scam include the grandchild calling directly, the arrest could be in Mexico or across the United States, and the amount being requested could vary.

You Have A Warrant, Pay Today or Go To Jail (or, You Missed Jury Duty And Now Have A Warrant)

While the last few days have been much quieter than last week with regard to people getting scam calls about a Sheriff's Office (or Sheriff's Department, which is incorrect) deputy, investigator or detective calling to notify them of an active warrant or that they missed jury duty. To rectify the situation, the victim of course, must send a payment or get a Green Dot card and provide the card numbers via the phone to the scammer calling.

This is a scam. Law enforcement across the country do not call people about warrants and never demand money or payment in lieu of clearing up an active warrant. Don't be afraid to hang up the phone.

Basic Tips

  1. Don't answer your door, phone or email, from anyone you don't know or didn't seek out yourself.
  2. Talk to your neighbors, family and friends about these and other scams. It's difficult for people to be cautious about scams if they haven't been made aware of them. Help each other.
  3. Don't send money via wire, Green Dot or other means, unless you absolutely know who is getting it on the other end.
  4. If you are feeling pressured to buy or make a decision, or feel like you are being held hostage through a threat to help or pay, that is likely a scam.
  5. Take notes and then take time. Slow things down and feel free to vet the information through a second party, through your local law enforcement agency or a trusted friend. If you have access to the Internet, Google it. 
    1. Google the phone number.
    2. Google key phrases they used when talking to you.
    3. Google their names or business name used.
  6. If it sounds too good to be true, it is!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekend Arrests Recapped

Crystal MacFarlane, 31
Sept. 2015 MCSO Photo

Domestic Related Arrests & Neighbors Fight, Weekend Arrests

Mesa County, Colo. -- Jail bookings were busy with domestic related arrests this weekend. Friday morning deputies were called to a home in the 320 block of Deerfield Avenue on a report of two adults arguing. Deputies arrested Crystal MacFarlane, 31, of Clifton, on charges related to domestic violence, third degree assault, harassment, violating a protection order, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a revoked license--habitual offender.
Christopher Phillips, 33
Sept. 2015 MCSO Report
Friday afternoon, Christopher Phillips, 33, of Clifton, was arrested on domestic violence charges, including harassment and second degree criminal tampering.

On Friday evening, Community Corrections client, Russell Jones, was charged with violation of a protection order after a previously protected person reported his presence at at address on C 1/2 Road, that he has been ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from. He was arrested without incident and booked into the Mesa County Detention facility.

Russell Jones, 57
Sept. 2015 MCSO Photo
On Saturday morning, deputies followed up on a previous incident at an address in the 3100 block of Orson Avenue. At that address, they located Robert Dimond, 46, who had an active warrant for his arrest. He is also named in a restraining order and was violating that order by being in the presence of an adult female onsite. She told deputies she was aware of the active restraining order and allowed Robert to reside in the same home.

Robert Dimond, 46
Sept. 2015 MCSO Report
Saturday afternoon, Richard McCune, 61, of Clifton, was arrested on third degree assault and domestic violence. He got angry at an adult female and is suspected of throwing a phonebook at her, ultimately hitting her with it.

Saturday night, deputies were called to the 400 block of 32 Road in Clifton, on a report of a neighbor on neighbor assault incident. One adult female was transported to an area hospital with a head injury. Shelly Serra, 54, is suspected of striking her neighbor in the head with a glass jar or vase. The two neighbors claimed they were having a joint yard sale, drinking heavily and eventually they began to physically fight. Shelly was arrested on second degree assault with injury and using a deadly weapon, and criminal mischief.

Richard McCune, 61
Sept. 2015 MCSO Photo

Other weekend arrests for outstanding warrants, include:

  • Casey Daniels, 29, of Colorado
  • Alex Sanchez, 25, of Fruita
  • Francisco Galindo, 30, of Grand Junction
  • Mark White, 34, of Grand Junction
  • Mozes Ramirez, 22, of Grand Junction

Shelly Serra, 54
Sept. 2015 MCSO Photo
All arrestee should appear in court today for arraignment, if they haven't already been released from custody. For updated bond amounts on any inmate currently in the Mesa County Detention Facility, visit our Inmate Inquiry System webpage.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Drug Arrests Recapped, Knife & Gun On Suspects

Traffic Stop Leads To Three Arrests With Meth

Kenneth Richards, 37, of Clifton
2015 MCSO Photo
Mesa County, Colo. -- Speeding was the initial violation that caught the attention of a patrol deputy working the Clifton area, yesterday afternoon. The driver of the vehicle was slow to respond to the deputy's attempt to pull him over and once the vehicle was stopped, there was a strong smell of marijuana coming from the car, according to arrest reports.

The driver was identified as Kenneth Richards, 37, of Clifton. A drug pipe with suspected methamphetamine was located in his pant's pocket during a pat down. Also, when he got out of the vehicle he had a knife in his hand and initially refused instruction from the deputy about placing the knife down. Eventually, he complied with the deputies commands. After additional deputies arrived to assist with the situation, the two passengers in the vehicle were told to exit the car and then were identified as Riccaila Finn, 25 and Shaye Pierce, 24, both of Clifton.

Riccaila Finn, 25, of Clifton
2015 MCSO Photo 
Kenneth was arrested and booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility on one count each of possession of meth, driving under the influence of drugs, speeding, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving without wearing a seatbelt. He currently remains in jail on a $2,500.00 cash only bond and is scheduled to appear in court next on October 1, at 8 a.m.

Riccaila was arrested and charged with two counts of violating bail bond conditions, and one count each of possession of heroin, introducing contraband (into the jail) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Total package weight of the suspected heroin was more than 55 grams, located in cosmetic bags and in the immediate area of where Riccaila was sitting in the backseat of the vehicle. During the jail booking search, money, meth and a syringe were located in her possession. She has received a $5,000.00 cash only bond and is scheduled to appear in court next on October 1, at 8 a.m.
Shaye Pierce, 24, of Clifton
2015 MCSO Photo

Shaye Pierce was arrested on three active warrant, and then booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility on the following additional charges. He was booked on three counts of probation violations, and one count each of possession of a weapon by a previous offender, possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia and special offender enhancer (for the gun, meth and being a convicted felon). A loaded .38 special handgun was located where Shaye was sitting in the car next to 6.2 grams of suspected meth, a scale and syringes. He remains in jail on $52,500.00 cash only bond. And, he is scheduled in court next on October 1, at 8 a.m.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Train Hits Man Near 33 Road, Clifton

Train vs. Pedestrian, Late Last Night

Updated Information Released on September 25, 2015...

The Mesa County Coroner released this news release on September 24, 2015.

Mesa County, Colo. -- Around 11:30 p.m. yesterday, deputies were dispatched to the railroad tracks and 33 Road area, in Clifton, for a train hitting a person trespassing on the track. Deputies located an adult man who had been hit by the train and did not survive.

Deputies and the Mesa County Coroner were able to identify the man early this morning and notify his next of kin, who reside locally. An autopsy is scheduled for today, after which time the Coroner will release identity, along with the official cause and manner of death.

Media inquiries to the railroad company can be through a contact found on this webpage.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Storage Shed Break-In, Friday

Astute Storage Employee Reports Suspects

Teresa Russell-Wilder, 44, of GJ
MCSO Photo: Sept. 2015
Mesa County, Colo. -- Deputies were dispatched to Applewood Mini-Storage around 12:30 p.m., on Friday, for a possible burglary. The company employee noticed two adults acting suspiciously in the area of a storage unit not paid for by one of the adults. The employee was able to give a possible name and specific vehicle description to dispatch.

About an hour later, deputies located the suspected vehicle at a convenience store at 32 Road and Mesa Avenue, Grand Junction. The two vehicle occupants were identified as Teresa Russell-Wilder, 44, and James Sharp, 40, both of Grand Junction.

Deputies located personal items with an approximate value of $1,500.00 to $2,000.00, inside the car connected to the suspects. Applewood Mini-Storage connected the unit owner with deputies who identified her belongings, which were returned to her after processing.

Multiple knives and a hatchet blade were located inside the suspect's vehicle, and James had a knife in his front pocket deputies located during a routine pat down. James is a convicted felon and can not legally be in possession of such items.

James Sharp, 40, of GJ
MCSO Photo: Sept. 2015
James was booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility on three counts of possession of weapons by a previous offender, second degree burglary, second degree criminal trespass, theft and criminal mischief. He is scheduled to appear in court today on arraignment.

Teresa was booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility on two counts of possession of weapons by a previous offender, second degree burglary, second degree criminal trespass, theft and criminal mischief. She is scheduled to appear in court today on arraignment.

Updated bond information can be found on our Inmate Inquiry System website for any inmate currently in our facility. And, for other arrest information from the weekend, visit our Blotter website, which is updated each day.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Recent Drug Arrests Include Meth, Heroin & LSD

Heroin, Meth, LSD Top Recent Drug Arrests

Ryan Blanton, 30, of Clifton
MCSO Photo: Sept. 2015
Mesa County, Colo. -- Summarizing the drug arrests from the last week, includes 30-year-old Ryan Blanton, of Clifton, who was arrested Thursday night.

He was booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility on charges including possession of methamphetamine and intent to distribute methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia possession, vehicular eluding, failure to obey traffic devices, speeding, driving without a proper driver's license, reckless driving and more.

Roger Gearhart, 42, of GJ
MCSO Photo: Sept. 2015
He currently remains in jail on a $50,000 cash only bond. Ryan is scheduled to appear in court next on September 28, at 8 a.m.

Roger Gearhart, 42, of Grand Junction, was arrested on Tuesday at 12:15 a.m. He was booked into the jail on a failure to appear in court warrant, along with possession of meth and LSD 'blotter papers'. Deputies contacted Roger in the area of 28 1/2 Road and North Avenue, following the report of a felony menacing in the same area (he was not arrested in connection to that incident).

Roger remains in jail on $5,500 cash only bond and is scheduled to appear in court next on September 29 and October 26, 2015.

Lindsey LaRose, 19, of GJ
MCSO Photo: Sept. 2015
Lindsey LaRose, 19, of Grand Junction was arrested on Wednesday night in the area of South Broadway and South Camp Roads, in Grand Junction. At the time deputies contacted Lindsey, she was wanted on multiple warrants for failure to report to jail, failure to appear in court on shoplifting and more. Ultimately, she was charged with being in possession of suspected heroin and drug paraphernalia, and booked into the jail on the warrants and new drug charges.

She received a $1,050 cash only bond and a $5,000 PR bond, and she is scheduled in court on September 29, at 8 a.m.

For updated information on any inmate currently in the Mesa County Detention Facility, visit our Inmate Inquiry website.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Victim Targeted In Overnight Shooting Incident

Adult Male Shot, Transported To Area Hospital

Mesa County, Colo. -- An adult male was shot, in the 3200 block of Bunting Avenue, Clifton, a few minutes after midnight on September 16, 2015. Deputies were dispatched to the scene of the incident at 12:14 a.m., where they encountered the victim conscious and breathing. He was transported to an area hospital by Clifton Fire Department.

Residential home where shooting occurred.
The victim remains hospitalized, with an updated status on him expected today. (Note: He remains hospitalized. Further status won't be provided to us due to HIPPA.) Investigators were able interview potential witnesses in the early morning hours, and don't believe this incident was a random act.

The case remains active and on-going, with updates provided as they become available.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Burglaries Reported In Redlands Area, Suspect Enters Home With Residents There

Lock House, Report Suspicious People, Be Alert

Mesa County, Colo. -- The Grand Junction Police Department and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office are working on a joint investigation into multiple burglaries that have occurred in the Redlands area of Mesa County. Several residential burglaries, as well as thefts from automobiles, have been reported in the last few weeks. Some of the burglaries give law enforcement additional concern because some of the victims report a male suspect has entered the homes while the residents were present.

In most cases, access to the homes has been through unlocked or unsecured doors and windows. Items stolen have ranged from firearms to jewelry, to cash and credit cards, as well as other small items. The burglaries are occurring during the late evening and early morning hours.

Both agencies are actively working together to identify the subject(s) involved. We are asking for the community’s assistance by making sure all doors and windows are locked and secured at all times. Also, leave exterior lights on at night. In addition, make sure your cars are locked and secure. Make sure items of value are not visible, and be watchful of your property and that of your neighbors. As always, report any suspicious activity to law enforcement by calling 911, or (970)242-6707, for non-emergency dispatch.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Deputies Respond To Death On Grand Mesa, Reported Hunter

Hunter Reported Shot On Grand Mesa

Guy Pohto, 59, of Minnisota
MCSO Photo: October 2015

Update Release on October 23, 2015

Court ordered photo was taken of Guy Pohto, 59, of Cook, MN, was taken on October 22, 2015. We are publishing it here for the convenience of the media.

Updated Release on September 25, 2015...

Mesa County, Colo. -- Earlier this week, investigators turned over the criminal death investigation of Justin Burns' case to the 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office for review. The DA's Office is anticipated to release their decision on criminal charges regarding this case, later today.

At this time however, their decision has not been made public. As for the criminal investigation, the Sheriff's Office is largely complete with the investigation and media inquiries should be direct to the DA's Office after their announcement.

Additional news releases from our agency are not anticipated.

Updated Release on September 14, 2015...

Mesa County, Colo. -- Today, the Mesa County Coroner identified the deceased person involved in the hunting incident yesterday. In addition, the cause and manner of death is being released by the Coroner. The category of homicide means the death of a person was caused by the action of another. The circumstances surrounding the teen being shot remains a focus of this death investigation.

Justin Burns was reportedly bow hunting with his father when he was shot. The suspected shooter has been identified by investigators. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, it is currently archery and muzzleloader season for various big game, and bear rifle season in many areas across the state.

This death investigation remains active and on-going, with updates provided as they become available.

Previously Released on September 13, 2015...

Mesa County, Colo. -- The Grand Junction Regional Communication Center (dispatch) received a call around 8:30 a.m., of a possible hunter shot near Big Creek Campground, on Grand Mesa. Deputies responded to the scene, along with the Collbran Marshall and Plateau Valley Fire Department.

The Mesa County Coroner has been notified and will work with investigators to determine cause and manner of death, as well as identity of the deceased person. As is standard with any unattended death in the County, this case is being handled by agency investigators.

Updates will be provided as they become available.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Labor Day Closure, Non-Emergency Services Only

Labor Day Office Closure: Plan Ahead

Monday, September 6 Closure for MCSO

Mesa County, Colo. -- For the upcoming Labor Day holiday, the non-emergency functions at the Sheriff's Office will be closed to the public on Monday, September 6, 2015. Regular business will operate on the prior Friday and the entire week starting with September 7.

Emergency functions will not break for the holiday and anyone with a genuine need for deputies, should call 911 or (970) 242-6707, to connect with dispatch. For other Mesa County office closures, visit Mesa County News.

Keep in touch with us via Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @SheriffMesaColo, and by enrolling your email in our agency's news blog, www.MCSONews.com.