Friday, November 21, 2014

Arrest Made In 2007 Paige Birgfeld Homicide Investigation

Lester Ralph Jones Arrested

Paige Birgfeld's Drivers License, 2007 

Mesa County, Colo. -- The suspect named in the disappearance and later the death of Paige Birgfeld, has been arrested and charged in connection with her death. Lester Ralph Jones, 63, of Grand Junction, was arrested by deputies and investigators with our agency this morning, after a warrant was signed for his arrest.

Lester R. Jones is being charged with:
  • Murder in the 1st degree, a class 1 felony
  • Murder in the 2nd degree, a class 2 felony
  • 2nd degree kidnapping, a class 4 felony
  • 2nd degree arson, a class 4 felony
  • Lester Ralph Jones, 2007

Upon completion of the booking process, an updated booking photo of Lester R. Jones will be provided. Our booking process typically takes several hours. Bond information can be accessed through our agency's Inmate Inquiry System webpage, however the warrant was signed with no bond until first appearance (at least).

To follow this case on social media, please connect with us Facebook and Twitter @SheriffMesaColo using #Birgfeld for this case. We also use #GVCopBeat, #MesaCounty and #Colorado.

Previously released information on this case (listed in chronological order)...

July 1, 2007 -- Local Woman Missing
July 2, 2007 -- Car On Fire
July 12, 2007 -- Ground Search Coordination
July 16, 2007 -- Personal Items Found 
March 7, 2012 --  Skeletal Remains Identified

IMPORTANT: The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is releasing this video regarding the biggest question regarding the arrest of Lester Jones, who was arrested earlier this morning on the murder of #Paige #Birgfeld-- "Why has it taken so long to make an arrest?" All media and public are allowed to use, show and share this video with credit going to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.

UPDATE: MCSO booking photo of Lester Ralph Jones, taken earlier this afternoon on 11/21/2014.
Lester Ralph Jones, MCSO booking Photo 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Woman Driving Vehicle With Stolen Plates, Arrested On Drug Charges

Woman Arrested With Multiple Rx Pills, Etc.

Megan Shives, 23
MCSO February 2014 Booking Photo
Mesa County, Colo. -- A warrant had already been issued for Megan Shives, 27, for failure to comply related to a 2010 case. Deputies contacted her while she was driving a vehicle with license plates reported as stolen.

Megan was initially combative with deputies, who described "carrying her to the patrol vehicle," for transporting her to the jail. Multiple prescription pills were located by deputies, to include antipsychotic medications, pain killers and muscle relaxers. Megan was booked into the jail on charges related to both possession of a controlled substance schedule II and IV, resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia and multiple traffic infractions, in addition the outstanding warrant.

Megan has a $5,000 cash or surety bond, and her next court appearance is scheduled for November 21, 2014, at 8 a.m. For updated bond information, visit our Inmate Inquiry System webpage.

47 Counts of Theft, Forgery, Criminal Impersonation, Etc.

Suspect Charged With 47 Counts

Samual Noah Elias Mayer, 23, of GJ
Mesa County, Colo. -- Samual Mayer, 23, of Grand Junction, was booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility on November 13, 2014, for a warrant issued by the Fruita Police Department for the charges of Theft, Possession of a Controlled Substance (meth) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Today, 47 additional counts were added to Samual's booking. Those charges include theft, first degree criminal trespass, criminal mischief, identity theft, forgery, unauthorized use of a financial transaction device, criminal impersonation and criminal possession of a financial device.

The newest charges against Samual are connected to multiple vehicle break-ins and damaged caused to vehicles that occurred over the summer at the Whitewater Boat Ramp. Fifteen victims are listed from these multiple cases.

On November 14, Samual received two cash or surety bond amounts totalling, $5,500.00. However, his new warrant is a no bond until first appearance. Updated bond information can be obtained through the Inmate Inquiry System webpage.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Teen Dies In Clifton Shooting Incident

Deputies Respond to Reported Shooting

Street view of residence where 15-year-old teen died
from a gun shot.
Updated Information/November 19, 2014 -- Yesterday, investigators arrested and booked Landon C. Sarti, 15, into the Grand Mesa Youth Detention Facility on one charge of manslaughter, a class 4 felony, and two additional misdemeanor charges. This arrest is related to the shooting death of 15-year-old Brandon Crawford, that occurred on Sunday, November 16, in Clifton.

Previously released information about this case can be found below. Under Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), a juvenile charged with a class 4 felony or greater shall be identified, however a booking photo will not be released based on the current charges and in compliance with CORA.

Media requesting the arrest affidavit should contact the agency's public information officer by email.

Previously Release...

Updated Information/November 17, 2014 -- Today, the Mesa County Coroner identified the victim in the shooting incident from yesterday, as Brandon Crawford, 15-years-old. For more information from the Coroner, click here.
Witnesses to this shooting have been identified, including the suspected shooter. The person believed to be responsible for the shooting continues to be cooperative with investigators. There appears to be no malicious intent that investigators are aware of at this time and this shooting appears to be an isolated incident.
The investigation remains active and on-going and updates will be provided as they become available.
Previously Release...

Investigation Underway Following Shooting in Clifton, Colo.

Mesa County, Colo. -- Today at 3:13 p.m. deputies responded to a residence in the 3200 block of E Rood Circle, Clifton, after a 911 call was received by dispatch from a person reporting a shooting had just occurred.  When deputies arrived, a deceased male was found inside the residence. No one else was injured. This appears to have been an isolated incident with no reason to believe there is any risk to the public. 
This incident remains under active investigation and no arrests have been made at this time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Stolen Purse, Forged Checks & Cocaine Arrest

Facebook Tip Gives Investigators Lead, Separate Cocaine Arrest

Matthew Gering, 25
Grand Junction, CO
Mesa County, Colo. -- Yesterday afternoon, patrol deputies arrested Matthew Gering, 25, of Grand Junction in the 100 block of Edlun Road, on charges of possession of cocaine, drug paraphernalia and first degree introduction of contraband into a detention facility. Deputies were called to a home where Matthew was residing, because of unusual behavior Matthew was exhibiting.

Deputies located a loaded syringe needle, empty needles and a container with white crystal rocks in it, consistent with cocaine. He was arrested without incident, however during the booking process a container of suspected marijuana was found in his possession. Matthew received a $5,000 PR bond today and is next scheduled to appear in court on November 20, 2014, at 8 a.m.

Surveillance images originally released on Nov. 6, 2014
Also charge yesterday was Danielle Sylvia, first arrested in Grand Junction on multiple charges, including possession of methamphetamine, by officers with the Grand Junction Police Department. While Danielle was still working her way through the booking process at the Mesa County Detention Facility, she was was charged additionally with forgery, theft and identity theft by investigators with our agency. 

Danielle Sylvia, 30
The forgery charges stem from her suspected of forging and cashing multiple checks at various locations in Mesa and Garfield Counties. The forged checks belonged to a victim who just days before had her purse stolen. Surveillance images had been released on our agency's Facebook page asking the public to assist us in identifying the woman. Multiple tips came forward about the woman's identity in the images. Investigators also matched the car Danielle was driving to the vehicle associated with the woman in the images, along with a noticeable tattoo that the woman has in some of the surveillance images (also matching Danielle).

Danielle is currently being held on a $2,750 cash or surety bond, with upcoming court dates on November 14, 2014, at 1 p.m. and on November 20, at 8:15 a.m.

For information on any inmate currently in our jail facility, visit our Inmate Inquiry System webpage. And, follow us on Twitter @SheriffMesaColo using #GVCopBeat and #MesaCounty.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dog Attacks Deputy

Disabled car of DUI suspect,
29 Road just south of Patterson Road.

DUI Suspect Arrested, Dog Attacks Deputy

Updated Information, Released at 2:30 p.m. on November 11, 2014...

The original call for deputies to the area of 29 and Patterson Roads, late last night, was for a possibly restraining order violation. That ultimately was unfounded, but deputies were able to contact an adult male fleeing from a crashed car that matched a reckless driver reported to dispatch to be in the same area. The suspect is identified as 24-year-old, Joseph McMillan.

Joseph was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and other traffic related infractions. He was ultimately released to a sober adult on a summons to appear in court and was not formally booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility, although the summons to appear in court is considered a non-custodial arrest (as the formal action).

The deputy, bitten by the dog last night is Deputy Ben Lawrence, who was seen and treated overnight for a non-life threatening dog bite at an area hospital. He was scheduled to work a patrol shift tonight, but will be off for continued assessment of the injury.

Mesa County Animal Control has taken possession of the dog and will get testing done on it for disease(s) such as rabies, etc. Animal Control reports they have had no previous interaction with the dog's owner or the dog, associated with the overnight incident.

The dog has been described as an intact male, 3 to 5 year old shepherd mix (not a pitbull or pure breed dog). As for vicious or uncontrolled dog related charges against the dog's owner, at this time, Animal Control will conduct a thorough investigation and assessment. Upon that investigation, they will/can determine charges as appropriate.

Previously Released Information...

Mesa County, Colo. -- A complaint of a vehicle driving erratically in the parking lot of Safeway, at 29 and Patterson Roads, as well as behind the business and possibly south onto Dawn Drive, brought deputies to the area around 9:20 p.m. The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle made an attempt to run from deputies when they contacted him behind the Safeway store a few minutes before 10 p.m., tonight. 

When the driver exited the disabled car (his erratic driving had blown a front tire and the engine was smoking), a medium size dog immediately rushed a deputy in an aggressive and threatening manner, biting him in the upper thigh. The deputy was forced to discharged his duty weapon, neutralizing the immediate threat of danger to the deputy, which resulted in the death of the dog. 

The driver of the car was arrested on charges related to drunk driving and is expected to complete the booking process overnight. The deputy is currently being treated at an area hospital for non-life threatening injuries sustained from the dog biting him. The DUI suspect and the dog's owner, told deputies on-scene the dog was not current on vaccinations. The dog will be taken to a local veterinarian facility for disease testing.

The DUI suspect will be identified after he is booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility and further updates on the deputy's condition will be provided as appropriate.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

SWAT Team Negotiating With Parole Absconder, Fruita

Multiple Law Enforcement Agenies Respond To Fruita Home For Wanted Man

Update at 6:45 p.m. -- The suspect from tonight's incident is Gary Lee Swenson, 37, of Fruita. He is currently a Colorado Department of Corrections parolee, wanted for absconding (warrant).

Gary Lee Swenson, 37, of Fruita
MCSO Booking Photo: July 2014
Update at 4:50 p.m. -- Parole Absconder is in custody, without incident in Fruita. 

Originally/Previously Released
Mesa County, Colo. -- Officers and deputies from local law enforcement descended on a Fruita neighborhood this afternoon in an attempt to apprehend a wanted fugitive. SWAT members from the Grand Junction Police Department and the Sheriff's Office used the rescue vehicle, also known as the Bearcat, to get negotiators close to the home where the fugitive is known to be inside.

Fruita PD & MCSO Deputy placing Gary Swenson in a patrol car.
This was near the corner of Doug and St. Peppin Drives, Fruita.

Homes immediately in the area of St. Peppin Drive, off K 6/10 Road, in Fruita were notified to shelter in place, as needed. Residents should remain sheltered in place or away from the area until this incident is resolved.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

UPDATED: Were you a witness? Arrest Made In Case

Sal Bustos, 40, of Grand Junction

Arrest Made In Assault Incident

Mesa County, Colo. -- Investigators obtained a warrant for the arrest of Salminieo "Sal" M. Bustos, 40, of Grand Junction, for his suspected role in the stabbing of Lester McCall, 40, of Mesa County. A passerby on E Road, just west of 31 Road, found Lester unconscious on the side of the road shortly before 3 p.m., on November 3, 2014. 

Lester was transported to an area hospital where he was in critical condition, in the intensive care unit. Today, Lester regained consciousness and was able to provide investigators more information about how he obtained serious injuries to his chest and neck. In addition, investigators were able to obtain statements from known associates of both men about a confrontation between the suspect and victim at the time Lester's injuries occurred.

Deputies conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle occupied by Sal tonight and arrested him without incident. He was booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility at 7:53 p.m., on one count of first degree assault (class 3 felony). 

The information about this incident that was previously released is below.

Previously Released on November 4, 2014...

Did You Witness Anything Suspicious?

Mesa County, Colo. -- An adult male was transported to an area hospital with life threatening injuries after being found on the side of the road by a passerby who knew immediately it wasn't a post Halloween prank, but a serious incident. Investigators do believe the victim had contact with someone, possibly in a vehicle, along E Road between East Valley Drive and 31 Road. Although a hit and run is not suspected nor consistent with the injuries sustained by the victim. 

Anyone who was in the area of E Road, between East Valley Drive and 31 Road, yesterday from 2:40 p.m. to 2:50 p.m., or anyone who was in the area and saw anything suspicious around that time frame should contact Investigator Pete Burg at, 244-3263.

Were you in the area of the purple line, on Nov 3, 2014, between 2:40 p.m. and 2:50 p.m.? Did you see anything suspicious in that area, in that time frame? If so, please call Inv. Burg at, 244-3263.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Weekend Arrests Include Meth, Child Abuse & More

Weekend Arrest Summary: Meth, Child Abuse, Etc.

Mesa County, Colo. -- Deputies arrested Trent Scarbrough, 35, of Grand Junction, in the 400 block of Morning Dove Court, Grand Junction in the early morning hours of October 31. Trent was booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility on one felony charge of possession of a schedule II substance, for suspected methamphetamine.

Trent received a $5,000 PR bond and is scheduled to appear in court next on November 6, 2014, at 8 a.m.

Also on the morning of October 31, deputies arrested Chandler Salazar, 38, of Grand Junction, on three counts of child abuse, and one count each of false imprisonment, third degree assault second degree criminal trespass, violation of a protection order, reckless endangerment and obstructing a peace officer. Chandler was arrested in the 2900 block of Globe Willow Avenue, in Grand Junction. During an altercation with an adult female, a nearly 2-year-old child received a bite mark on his leg, that is believed to have been done by Chandler.

Chandler received a $20,000 cash only bond, and is next scheduled to appear in court on November 18, at 8 a.m.

During the evening of October 31, deputies were called to a residence in the 3100 block of Kay Street, Grand Junction, on an initial report of stolen car keys. Through the course of contact with the suspect, deputies located an illegal amount of marijuana and suspected methamphetamine. The drugs and drug paraphernalia were in the same bedroom and immediate area as three children, ranging in age from 8-years-old to 10-months-old. 

Amber Wyatt, 29, of Grand Junction, was arrested and booked into the jail on three counts of child abuse, tampering with evidence, possession of a schedule II substance, for suspected methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia. When Amber arrived at the jail for booking, deputies believe she attempted to swallow a package of suspected meth. She admitted to deputies that she was choking and eventually pulled the baggie out of her mouth. 

Amber received a $5,000 PR bond and is scheduled to appear in court next on November 13, at 8 a.m.

On November 1, deputies arrested Clint Hatch, 28, of Mack, on one count each of criminal mischief, felony menacing and third degree assault. Clint is suspected of breaking a cell phone that belonged to an adult female, and slamming her arm in a door along with pointing a handgun at her during an argument.

Clint received a $10,000 PR bond and is next scheduled to appear in court on November 10, at 8 a.m.

For information about any inmate currently in our Detention Facility, visit our Inmate Inquiry System webpage. Also, for emergency information follow us on Twitter @SheriffMesaColo using #MesaCounty and #GVCopBeat.