Friday, January 27, 2017

Is Mesa County a Sanctuary County?

MESA COUNTY, Colo - What is a Sanctuary City or County and is Mesa County one of them? We've heard this question asked a lot lately, so here are a few facts regarding the Mesa County Sheriff's Office policies. 

The term "Sanctuary County” implies that the Mesa County Sheriff's Office does not share information with or allow Immigration Customs Enforcement or ICE to house arrestee’s in our facility. Both of these assertions are false.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office revised our policy in response to a 2014 federal court opinion out of Oregon. The case is Maria Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas County (Case No. 3:12-cv-02317-ST) and involved an inmate being held on an ICE issued detainer beyond the time she should have been released from jail on the criminal charges she had been booked on. The court in this case ruled holding the inmate in custody was a violation of the inmate’s 4th Amendment Rights because the detainer was not signed by a judge.

This case prompted many Sheriff’s around the country to change their procedures and hold ICE to the same constitutional standard that every other state and federal agency is required to meet. This change would necessitate ICE to have their detainers be reviewed and approved by a judge.

In Mesa County we work very hard to ensure there is good communication between ICE and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. Our policy requires notification to ICE when a person is booked into our jail if they were foreign born and provides a system of notification prior to release from jail that enables ICE to conduct an investigation if they choose.

This policy does not establish Mesa County as a sanctuary at all but provides specific instruction on how the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office has and will continue to work with ICE. We have and would accept any arrestee brought with an order signed by a judge.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

UPDATE: Investigation continues into suspicious person near a school

MESA COUNTY, Colo -The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is working on locating the suspicious person believed to have approached two children in a white van this morning near Fruitvale. 

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is following up on many leads. We thank the public for sending in tips.

Deputies and investigators are working with School District 51 to ensure the safety of students. There will be extra patrols around all schools in the foreseeable future before and after school. Those patrols are starting this afternoon. 

The suspicious person is described as an older man with a white beard. He was last seen wearing a black hat with a dirty white shirt, dark-colored pants and a dark-colored jacket.

He was seen driving a white van with no windows as well as rust and mud along the bottom.

If you see this person or van CALL 911. DO NOT approach the van. We do not know if the subject is armed. Also there are several white vans in the area that may not be related to this incident. We don't want well intentioned people arrested for taking matters into their own hands.  

Parents should talk to their kids about Stranger Danger. Kids should never speak to people they don't know. If ever approached by a stranger children should run away to the nearest safe place such as a neighbor's house, or a school and tell a trusted adult immediately.

For more information about this incident click here.


Mesa County Sheriff's Deputies warn of a suspicious person near a school

MESA COUNTY, Colo - At 8:25 a.m. two children were approached by an unknown adult male in a white van near Fruitvale Elementary School.

The male got out and told the children to get in the van. The kids did the right thing and immediately ran away and told a teacher, who then called 911.

Mesa County Sheriff Deputies believe the man followed them to the school before taking off westbound on Wellington Ave.

The children are safe and were not harmed.

The suspicious person is described as an older man with a white beard. He was last seen wearing a black hat with a dirty white shirt, dark-colored pants and a dark-colored jacket.

He was seen driving a white van with no windows. It has rust and mud along the bottom.

If you see this person or van please call 911 immediately. If you have any information about this incident please call 911.

Parents should also talk to their children and remind them to never speak to strangers. If ever approached by a stranger children should run away to the nearest safe place such as a neighbor's house, or a school and tell a trusted adult immediately.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sexually Violent Predator Community Notification

Sexually Violent Predator Changes Address within County

MESA COUNTY, Colo - This public notice is intended to make our community aware that a registered sex offender, classified as a sexually violent predator, is moving within the county. Further details about this offender and his new location, Click here and choose the Mark Allen Pagel Community Bulletin from our County web page about sexually violent predators in Mesa County.

A 'sexually violent predator' is a term branded by the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board, who classifies a convicted sex offender with this additional descriptor. Mark Allen Pagel, 39, of Mesa County, has served his convicted sentence in the Colorado Department of Corrections prison facilities as ordered by a Judge. Pagel registered with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office and listed his new residence with our agency, per compliance with registration laws. Pagel remains current with all his registration requirements.

All community notification bulletins for all current SVPs registered with our agency are on our agency website, to view them, click here. In addition, we highly recommend you watch a 12 minute video that talks about SVPs and all registered sex offenders, resources and other useful information specific to Mesa County. For current information on all registered sex offenders in Mesa County, visit our countywide joint website, and be sure to choose the link to enroll up to five physical addresses and be notified if a registered sex offender or new registered sex offender moves into a designated area around the addresses you input. This is an extremely useful tool.

If you have information regarding current criminal activity of this or any other offender, please call 911 for an emergency. If you observe this offender engaging in any high risk or inappropriate behavior, please contact the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, patrol units, by calling 911 or (970) 242-6707. If you have questions or need education handouts, please contact Mesa County Sex Offender Registrar Jennifer Jenkel at (970) 244-3206, or her direct supervisor Sgt. Henry Stoffel (970) 244-3973.

Most sex crimes are never reported and most offenders are never detected. The greatest risk of sex offense is from people you know. The information provided herein (on the embedded community bulletin) is current and accurate as of the date, but is subject to change.

The purpose of this notification is to enhance public safety and protection. Vigilantism, or use of this information to harass, threaten or intimidate anyone associated with this notification will not be tolerated.

This law enforcement agency has no legal authority to direct where a sex offender may live (however, we make it public information so citizens can be aware and educate themselves). Unless court restrictions exist, they are constitutionally free to live wherever they choose. Sex offenders have always lived in our community, but they were not required to notify law enforcement of their residence until registration laws were implemented pursuant to the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act. Law enforcement may now share that information with members of the community, and in the case of sexually violent predators, law enforcement must actively notify citizens. This blog posting is only one of the means we are getting this information out to citizens of Mesa County.

Monday, January 16, 2017

UPDATE: Homicide suspect arrested in Aurora

Matthew Mitchell, age 37, Littleton, CO
2014 Photo Courtesy of Colorado
Department of Corrections

UPDATE:  Homicide suspect arrested

UPDATE: January 16, 2017

AURORA, Colo - Homicide suspect Matthew Mitchell, 37, was taken into custody overnight by the Aurora Police Department.

Mitchell was arrested on warrant for Murder in the First Degree out of the Mesa County Sheriff's Office. He was also arrested on a traffic warrant out of Jefferson County, and drug related charges with the Aurora Police Department.

Mitchell is currently being held at the Arapahoe County Jail.

The investigation into the October 16, 2016 homicide of Paul Davis is still on-going.



MESA COUNTY, Colo. - Over the weekend Investigators with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office completed an arrest warrant for Matthew Mitchell. Mitchell's is wanted for Murder in the First Degree, Murder in the Second Degree, Aggravated Robbery, First Degree Burglary, Theft $5,000.00 to $20,000.00, and Possession of a Firearm by a Previous Offender.

Currently Mitchell's whereabouts are unknown but we believe he is still in the 2005 dark blue Cadillac with temporary Colorado tags.

He is considered armed and dangerous. If you see him or the car please notify law enforcement immediately.

January 6, 2017

MESA COUNTY, Colo. – Over the past couple of days, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Investigators, working with agencies in the Denver metro area, executed search warrants and court orders to collect non- testimonial evidence (DNA, Fingerprints).  These warrants were executed in connection with the October 16, 2016 homicide of Paul Davis.  Currently all the warrants and court orders are sealed.

Law enforcement is still looking for Matthew Mitchell, age 37, of Littleton, as a person of interest in this case.  Mitchell was last seen in Golden, Colorado, on January 4, 2017, driving a 2005 dark blue Cadillac with a temporary Colorado tag.    

We do not believe Mitchell is in the Grand Junction area, but if you see the vehicle please notify law enforcement immediately. 

Mesa County Sheriff's Deputy to honor father's legacy on MLK Day

Deputy Janielle Westermire
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo - Mesa County Sheriff Detention Deputy Janielle Westermire is the fifth generation of her family to call the Grand Valley home.

“I love this community, I am part of it and to be able to give back is what it’s all about,” said Westermire.

Westermire will be apart of Monday's Martin Luther King, Jr. events in honor of her father, former Grand Junction City Councilman Harry Butler. A man she thanks for instilling in her the value of service.

"He was just involved in so many things. Part of his legacy is to honor those that give to others and that is another thing Martin Luther King, Jr. was about is giving. So, it’s a perfect day to honor him,” said Westermire.

During the festivities, Westermire will read Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous 'I Have a Dream' speech. Westermire believes his powerful words carry a message that still resonates today.

"The speech talks about our destiny. Whether it's white, black or whatever, we’re all in it together. I think people tend to forget that," said Westermire. “It doesn’t matter what background you come from, whether you are rich, poor or what have you, we all are accountable for what we do.”
Harry Butler

Her father, the late Harry Butler, was a pastor at Grand Junction's historical Handy Chapel. It's where he began his legacy of service and where Monday's MLK Day events will take place.

Bulter was also a two-term Council member, School Board member, and a decades-long volunteer at the Mesa County Detention Facility.

Westermire recalled a time her father volunteered at the jail. “He had church service for the women. They would sing real loud, and he would buy these beautiful leather bound Bibles and give it to them," said Westermire.

She still gets surprised to hear how many lives her father touched through his kind and giving heart.

Westermire working at
the Mesa County Detention Facility
"I had a young lady that was an ex-inmate come up to me and tell me I still have your dad’s Bible. It was neat," said Westermire. 

Now Westermire is proudly continuing his legacy of service spending her days helping inmates better their lives. She's worked in the Mesa County Detention facility since 1992.

“Sometimes I feel closer to God working here, because, I guess, this is where it's needed the most,” said Westermire.

After Butler passed away in 2013, an award was created in his honor.  The Harry Butler's Service to Others award will be given to three recipients this year during the MLK celebration at Handy Chapel.

“That’s what he was about, service,” said Westermire. "He was a very humble man."

Westermire said she couldn't do it alone, David Combs, Juanita Trujillo, Bob Lang, Celeste Girtman, and Dan Robinson were instrumental in making Monday's Martin Luther King, Jr. events a reality.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Events

This year's celebration is "Service To Others"
  • 12:30pm City Hall
  • A symbolic march from Grand Junction’s City Hall to the historic Handy Chapel 
  • Route - Commence at 5th and Rood - South on 5th to Main - West on Main to 1st - North on 1st to Grand - East on Grand to 5th - South on 5th to White - West on white to Handy Chapel located at 200 White Avenue.
Handy Chapel
Handy Chapel Program:
  • 1:00pm Immediately following the march will be a program at Handy Chapel with singing and speakers.
  • The Harry Butler's Service to Others award will be given to three recipients this year.
CMU Program in the CMU Ballroom:
  • 5:30pm - Social Hour
  • 6:00pm - Program Start 
  • This will consist of vendors, sponsors, speakers, musicians, singers and other festivities.

For more information about the event click here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Crime Stoppers: Crime of the Week

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo - This week Crime Stoppers needs your help to identify the subjects that stole a TV in the early morning hours on Sunday, October 23, 2016 from the Rimrock Walmart.

Security cameras captured the image of a white male wearing a gray hoodie with “XD Series” logo on the front and back, with blue jeans and a red and black baseball cap.

The male subject fled the store through an emergency door to a waiting black 4-door passenger car. When an employee tried to follow, the driver, who was wearing black mask, pointed a .45 caliber handgun at him, so he returned inside the store.

A 50” Vizio 4K TV was stolen.

If you know the identity of the subjects involved in this crime, please call Crime Stoppers at 241-7867. Information reported to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest can earn you up to $1,000 cash reward and you will remain completely anonymous. For more information, visit

GJPD Case# 2016-64789

Monday, January 2, 2017

Two Arrested After Hash Oil Explosion

New Year's Eve Explosion Leads to Two Arrest

Kevin Muisenga, 27,
Grand Junction
MCSO Photo - 01/01/17
Mesa County, Colo. -- An explosion on New Year's Eve at 284 28 1/2 Road lead to the arrest of Kevin Muisenga, age 27, of Grand Junction and Justin Mulloy, age 31, of Grand Junction for drug related charges to include the manufacture of hash oil. 

At 3:19 pm on December 31, 2016, the Grand Junction Fire Department along with the Grand Junction Police Department and Mesa County Sheriff's Office responded to 284 28 1/2 Road after receiving several reports of smoke coming from the residence.    

As law enforcement arrived, they spoke with Justin Mulloy.  Mulloy told law enforcement, he and several others were attempting to produce marijuana concentrate (Hash Oil) using a "closed loop" system in the basement of the residence.  As the product was being completed "something went wrong" and there was an explosion. 

Muisenga, who had been transported to the hospital for treatment, told law enforcement he was attempting to produce marijuana concentrate for the first time.  When the extraction was completed, the system was being disassembled, when he heard the sound of gas being released.  Muisenga attempted to run out of the basement, but before could get out there was a large explosion. 

Justin Mulloy, 31
Grand Junction
MCSO Photo - 01/01/17
During the investigation of the explosion, several pounds of completed marijuana concentrate, over 100 marijuana plants, over 50 pounds of dried marijuana, and a gallon plastic bag containing dried mushrooms were found at the residence. 

Mulloy was arrested and charged with Unlicensed Manufacture of Marijuana Concentrate, a class 2 felony; 4th Degree Arson, a class 4 felony; and Reckless Endangerment, a class 3 misdemeanor. 

Muisenga was arrested and charged with Unlicensed Manufacture of Marijuana Concentrate, a class 2 felony; Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana (more than 50 pounds & more than 25 pounds concentrate), a class 1 drug felony; Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule I/II Drug, a class 2 drug felony; Cultivation of more than 30 Plants, a class 3 drug felony; Possession of a Schedule I/II Drug, a class 4 drug felony; Possession of more than 12 ounces of marijuana or 3 ounces of marijuana concentrate, a class 4 drug felony; 4th Degree Arson, a class 4 felony; and Reckless Endangerment, a class 3 misdemeanor. 

Mulloy and Muisenga are being held at the Mesa County Detention Facility pending their first appearance in court.  For updated bond information on any inmate currently in our detention facility, visit our Inmate Inquiry webpage.