Thursday, October 15, 2020

Climber rescued after fall in Little Dominguez Canyon

Mesa County Search and Rescue
carries injured climber 
Climber rescued from fall
MESA COUNTY, Colo -  At approximately 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, the Grand Junction Regional Communications Center was notified by Delta County’s Communications Center a climber was in need of help. It had received a 911 text message about a climber who had fallen in the Little Dominguez Canyon area.

The adult male fell about 30-40 feet while repelling down a 200-foot cliff in the area of Rose Creek.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and Mesa County Search and Rescue immediately responded to the area. The two people with the injured climber helped alert Centurylink’s helicopter to their remote location. 

Helicopter helps in rescue effort
Because the area was difficult to access, the helicopter transported search and rescue volunteers and deputies into the bottom of the canyon. Rescue crews then had to hike about a mile in steep terrain to reach the climber. The climber was carried to CareFlight waiting nearby. He was airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

A second CareFlight helicopter transported rescue crews back out of the area. In total, the technical rescue took about 9 hours.

Do you have a COSAR card?

Search and Rescue is a free service in Mesa County. If you plan on recreating outdoors, you are encouraged to get a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) card. If you ever need search and rescue services it helps reimburse the cost to our local volunteer teams.  Learn more at https://cdola.colorado.gov/funding-programs/search-and-rescue-fund.

*video available on Facebook. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

CIRT investigation: Arrest made in connection with OIS




The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is releasing the following information on behalf of the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT).

Adam James Rodriguez, 29
MCSO Photo 2-4-20
MESA COUNTY, Colo – The 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team made an arrest related to the incident that occurred on Sunday, October 11, 2020.

Adam James Rodriguez, 29, of Clifton was released from the hospital and taken into custody.

Rodriguez was arrested on the following charges:

  • Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft (Class 4 Felony)
  • 2 counts of Assault in the Second Degree on a Police Officer (Class 4 Felony)
  • 3 counts of  Felony Menacing (Class 5 Felony)
  • 2 counts of Vehicular Eluding (Class 4 Felony)
  • Reckless Endangerment (Class 2 Misdemeanor)
  • Resisting arrest (Class 2 Misdemeanor)
  • Reckless Driving (Class 2 Misdemeanor Traffic Offense)
  • Hit and Run (Class 2 Misdemeanor Traffic Offense)
  • Hit and Run (Class 2 Misdemeanor Traffic Offense)
  • Attempt to Influence a Public Servant (Class 4 Felony)
  • Crime of Violence (Sentencing Enhancer)
  • Crime of Violence (Sentencing Enhancer)

All documents in this case have been sealed by the court. This incident remains under investigation by the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team.

Rodriguez is currently being held in the Mesa County Detention Facility. For updated bond amounts visit our website.

To view previous releases about this incident click here.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

CIRT activated to investigate an officer-involved shooting




The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is releasing the following preliminary information on behalf of the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT).

All officer-involved shootings in Mesa County are investigated by the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team, which is comprised of representatives of the Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Fruita Police Department, Palisade Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Department of Corrections, 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and Colorado Bureau of Investigation. CIRT is activated when a law enforcement agency is involved in a critical incident to ensure an independent investigation. Because Grand Junction Police Department personnel was involved in this incident, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office is leading this investigation on behalf of CIRT.

At approximately 12:36 p.m. on Sunday, October 11, 2020, the Grand Junction Regional Communications Center received a 911 call regarding the possible location of a stolen vehicle.

A short time later, officers with the Grand Junction Police Department located the vehicle in the area of 29 1/2 Road and Parkway Drive.

While attempting to contact the driver of the stolen vehicle, the vehicle struck an officer, and an officer-involved shooting occurred.

One suspect was shot and transported to the hospital and is currently being treated for what is believed to be non-life-threatening injuries.

The Grand Junction Police officer struck by the suspect’s vehicle was treated on scene by paramedics for minor injuries.

Law enforcement continues to process the scene of this incident for additional evidence. Residents in the area may see an increased presence of law enforcement personnel over the next several hours.

Members of the Critical Incident Response Team will conduct interviews of all witnesses and involved persons in this case over the coming days. Additional details will be released as appropriate, with sensitivity to the ongoing investigation.

The Grand Junction Police Department will be responsible for releasing the names of the involved officers. As per their agency’s policy, the officers will be placed on administrative leave.

Investigators are seeking information and video of this incident. Anyone with information or video of this incident, please call the witness tip line at (970) 244-3526.

We thank the community for their patience and trust to allow us to ensure a thorough and complete investigation into this incident.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Priceless heirloom one of hundreds of stolen property recovered in weeks-long investigation

Samantha Berryman holds a family heirloom recovered by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.

Samantha Berryman first started playing the violin in middle school. It was her grandmother's idea for her to learn the string instrument. However, Samantha didn’t learn to play on just any violin, but rather a very special one with a mother-of-pearl flower inlay and a horsehair bow. The antique French violin first belonged to her grandmother's great aunt. It was passed down through generations of Samantha's family and then onto her.

Now, as an adult, the violin has become more than a musical instrument to Samantha. It became a meaningful connection to her past. Even more so, after the grandparents who raised her passed away.

In July of 2020, the priceless family heirloom was stolen—Samantha worried it was gone forever. In September, Samantha got a call from the Mesa County Sheriff's Office that her violin had been found.

"It's a part of me, part of my family, my history," said Samantha after being reunited with the family heirloom. "I thought I never would get it back."

The violin was one of hundreds of stolen property recovered as part of an extensive investigation by several Mesa County Sheriff's Office units and agency partners into recent burglaries and car thefts in Mesa County.

Weeks of investigative work led to eight arrests and the recovery of stolen vehicles, defaced firearms, and tens of thousands of dollars' worth of stolen property—items, like Samantha's antique violin.

Patrol vehicles on Mitchell Road 
Mid-July, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office began investigating a series of storage unit burglaries and auto thefts. Deputies and investigators combed through evidence, surveillance video, identified potential suspects, and developed information that ultimately led to an apartment on the 400 block of Coronado Court. There, investigators located what is believed to be stolen property and illegal narcotics.

That residence led to more potential suspects and the identification of two more homes where stolen property was stored. The properties are located on the 200 block of Mitchell Road and the 300 block of 27 ½ Road.

Investigators believe individuals would steal property or cars and take it to the identified residences and trade for service, money, or illegal drugs.

Here’s what deputies have recovered:
MCSO Deputy carries property
believed to be stolen

  • 4 stolen vehicles
  • 2 trailers believed to be stolen
  • More than 40 unlawfully possessed guns - some of which were also identified as stolen or defaced
  • Illegal narcotics - distribution amounts
  • Hundreds of stolen items, including tools, solar panels, batteries, jewelry, and an antique violin.
  • Evidence of illegal title transfers
Investigators so far have linked the stolen property to at least 25 cases of storage unit, residential and business burglaries, and auto thefts and car break-ins. They originated from multiple jurisdictions on the Western Slope, with one case dating back to 2007.

As a result of this investigation, eight people face various charges that range from theft, burglary, unlawful possession of weapons, and illegal narcotics.

This investigation is still active and ongoing. Deputies and investigators continue to interview involved persons and work to identify more related cases. More charges and arrests are anticipated.

A complex case of this magnitude wouldn't be possible without our partner law enforcement agencies and community members' help. Colorado State Patrol, Grand Junction Police Department, Fruita Police Department, Western Colorado Drug Task Force, Mesa County Code Enforcement, and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Patrol, Investigations, Crime Reduction, and Street Crime Units all worked on various aspects of this investigation.

Investigators and deputies catalog
 potential evidence
 
The work isn’t over yet. Mesa County Sheriff’s Office investigators are diligently working to reunite the stolen property found with their rightful owner, people like Samantha. It’s a slow and challenging process. Investigators rely on photos, serial numbers, and identifying marks reported to law enforcement to determine the owners of the items found. Items without such documentation may never be matched with a stolen property case.

A good practice for community members is to document belongings, keep detailed records of serial numbers, identifying marks, and photos of valuable items. If your items ever get stolen, that documentation can help law enforcement return it to you if found. To report a theft, call non-emergency dispatch at (970) 242-6707 or make a report online. 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Update: Body of a child found in canal


3-year-old Adelesia
Answers to Addie Rae
#UPDATE 4:00 p.m.

Sunday, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office took the extraordinary measure to drain the Grand Valley Irrigation Company canal. As the water level dropped, Centurylink’s helicopter assisting the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office search effort, flew above the waterway to search for any sign of the missing child.

At approximately 2:15 p.m. Sunday, the search crews in the helicopter spotted something in the water. Deputies and investigators converged on the area to investigate further. The body of a small child was found in the canal near 29 Road matching the description of Adelesia. The Mesa County Coroner’s Office is working to identify the deceased and will release their name once next-of-kin is notified.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is still seeking any video that may help investigators understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy. If you have information, please call non-emergency dispatch at (970) 242-6707.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all search and rescue volunteers, Citizens on Patrol volunteers, law enforcement partners, the Grand Valley Irrigation Company, and the community for their help in this search effort. The outpouring of community support during this search effort has been unprecedented.

The family wants to thank the community for their support and compassion and has asked for privacy during this time. A Go Fund Me account has been sent up in the family’s name.

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Grand Valley Canal being drained in search for missing 3-year-old


MESA COUNTY, Colo – At 6:13 p.m. Saturday the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center received a 911 call reporting a child missing.

3-year-old Adelesia, who answers to Addie Rae, was last seen at 6:00 p.m. at a residence on Orchard Ave between 29 ½ Road and 30 Road. She was wearing a tan shirt with an orange fox and orange and blue pants. It is believed she wandered off.

Deputies and family members immediately began searching the surrounding area. GJPD officers and GJPD’s K-9 unit, CSP, and more than 20 Mesa County Search and Rescue volunteers also joined the search for the child.

A Community Notification was sent to area residents. The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office also notified local media and used social media alert features to spread the word. The circumstances of this incident did not meet the qualifications to issue an amber alert.

While searching the immediate area, deputies and search and rescue volunteers, also searched several miles of the Grand Valley Irrigation Canal. Deputies found evidence Adelesia had been near the canal.

To rule out the possibility the child may have fallen into the canal, today, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Grand Valley Irrigation Company to begin the process of temporally draining the canal. This includes the Mesa County ditch mainline, the Independent Ranchman’s ditch, and the Grand Valley Irrigation Company’s Highline canal and Mainline. This is a temporary shutdown, so waterways can be searched for the missing child. This is a slow process; it could take 48 hours to drain enough to search.

While the canal is drained, the search in the surrounding community continues. Saturday, several miles around the canal, and the home where she was last seen, were searched extensively. Deputies and Mesa County Search and Rescue volunteers are searching again today.

Thank you to the countless community members who have shared Addie Rae’s information, called in tips, and helped with the search.

If you see Addie Rae or know of her whereabouts, please call 911 immediately.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Update: One dead in Fruitvale shooting








9/29/20 Update: The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office has completed its investigation in the August 8th, 2020 Fruitvale shooting and turned it over the 21st District Attorney’s Office for review.

On September 28th, 2020, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office received a letter from District Attorney Dan Rubinstein declining prosecution based on the Colorado "Make-my-day" statute, C.R.S. 18-1-704.5. View the letter here.

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Update: The Mesa County Coroner's Office released the following statement:

"The Mesa County Coroner’s Office has completed its examination regarding the death of Fredrick Price, a 23-year-old male resident of Grand Junction, Colorado. Mr. Price was the male involved in the shooting that occurred on August 8, 2020 in the 600 block of Grand Valley Drive Grand Junction, Colorado. The cause of death is gunshot wound of the chest and the manner of death is homicide. Toxicology is pending at this time.

The law enforcement agency overseeing this investigation is the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. Please contact them for any further details regarding this case."






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MESA COUNTY, Colo: On 08/08/20 at approximately 2:45 am, deputies were dispatch to a residence in the 600 block of Grand Valley Drive for a shooting. 

A male was found deceased inside of the home and had suffered a gunshot wound. Initial investigation has shown the deceased male does not live at the home, forced entry was present into the home and the deceased male is not known to the people who reside there.

Investigators are interviewing the residents, speaking with neighbors, processing the scene and will work closely with the Mesa County Coroner’s Office to identify the deceased. The Mesa County Coroner’s Office will determine the cause and manner of death.

If anyone has any information about the case, please call the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 970-244-3526.

This case remains under investigation.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Grand Junction Man arrested in connection with overnight stabbing

Thomas Dean Brown, 52
MCSO Photo 9-1-20
MESA COUNTY, Colo – Mesa County Sheriff’s investigators make an arrest related to an overnight stabbing in Grand Junction.

Thomas Dean Brown, 52, of Grand Junction, was arrested Friday on the charge of Assault in the First Degree with Intent to Cause Serious Bodily Injury.

At approximately 1:18 Friday morning, the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center received a call of an injured person bleeding from the neck who needed assistance. Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the residence on the 500 block of Placer Drive to assist medical personnel.  Deputies quickly determined an assault had occurred.

A 54-year-old man with a serious injury to his neck was transported to St. Mary’s hospital and has since been released.

Through the course of the investigation, suspect information was developed. Brown was located and arrested without incident. Brown was treated for injuries reportedly sustained during the initial incident then booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility.

This remains an active and ongoing investigation.

For updated bond amounts, visit our website.

Monday, September 21, 2020

SVP Community Notification - Privette & Gallegos

Sexually Violent Predators Move into County

Willie Privette Jr, 40
MCSO Photo 9-21-20
MESA COUNTY, Colo. -- This public notice is intended to make our community aware that a registered sex offender, classified as a sexually violent predator has moved into Mesa County. Further details about these offenders can be found on our website. Click here and choose the offender's Community Bulletin.

A 'sexually violent predator' is a term used by the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board, who classifies a convicted sex offender with this additional descriptor. 

Willie Privette Jr., 40, of Whitewater, is moving back into Mesa County after recently completing a sentence for failing to register. Privette has served his convicted sentence as ordered by a Judge. Willie Privette registered with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, per compliance with registration laws. 

Jose Elizario Gallegos, 69, of Grand Junction, is moving into Mesa County after previously living in the City of Grand Junction.  Gallegos has served his convicted sentence as ordered by a Judge. Jose Elizario Gallegos registered with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, per compliance with registration laws. 

Jose Elizario Gallegos, 69
MCSO Photo 9-14-20

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 website.

If you have information regarding the 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 LeeAnn Camp at (970) 244-3206, or her direct supervisor Sgt. Justin Bynum (970) 244-3973.

Most sex crimes are never reported and most offenders are never detected. The greatest risk of a 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.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

MCSO investigating overnight shooting

9/21/20 UPDATE: Investigators are looking for potential witnesses to the shooting that occurred early Sunday morning outside a residence on the 3100 block of Orson Ave.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone who attended the party Saturday night into Sunday morning and may have witnessed the incident to call our witness tip line (970) 244-3526. 

If you have video or information about this shooting, you are also asked to call the witness tip line (970) 244-3526. 

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MESA COUNTY, Colo – The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting that occurred at a large party early Sunday morning in the Fruitvale area.

Just after midnight, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the 3100 block of Orson Ave for a report of multiple shots fired outside a residence.

Within minutes, deputies arrived and secured the area. A 20-year-old male was found with a gunshot wound. He was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The investigation is still in its early stages. However, investigators believe this was an isolated incident, and there is no ongoing threat to the community. Investigators have determined a large number of people were at the party, and a fight did occur. Investigators are working to identify the individuals involved and if the fight was related to the shooting.

This remains an active ongoing investigation. The scene is still being processed and investigators are actively interviewing potential witnesses to determine the circumstances surrounding this shooting.

If you attended the party or have video related to this incident, investigators would like to speak with you. Please contact the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office by calling non-emergency dispatch (970) 242-6707.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Fire Restrictions move from Stage 2 to Stage 1 September 18th

MESA COUNTY, Colo – The Mesa County Sheriff, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Grand Junction Field Office, and the Colorado National Monument are reducing fire restrictions from Stage 2 to Stage 1 effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, September 18th, 2020. This applies to all of Mesa County, including the Colorado National Monument and BLM administered public lands. Land managed by the U.S. Forest Service, including the Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre National Forests, remains in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. 

Recent rain combined with shorter days and longer cooler nights have improved the extreme fire danger enough to support moving from Stage 2 Fire Restrictions to Stage 1. Agencies implement fire restrictions based on specific criteria to include the moisture content of vegetation, weather outlooks, human risk factors, and firefighting resource availability. Mesa County recently received 1.0 to 1.25 inches of precipitation. As we move into fall, the longer nights provide a better opportunity for vegetation moisture levels to recover.

Allowed under Stage 1 not previously allowed under Stage 2:
  • The use of charcoal grills
  • Campfires inside designated and developed fire pits or fire rings
  • Smoking outside in an area free of combustible materials
While last week’s storms have helped ease fire danger, it was not a fire-season ending event. Mesa County is experiencing extreme drought conditions with no forecasted relief anytime soon. The potential still exists for dangerous wildfires this fall. Community members are asked to continue to be vigilant and remain cautious when using fire outdoors, especially in heavily grassy areas. The public can help significantly reduce human-caused fires by being proactive with activities that could ignite a wildfire.

Preventing wildfires:
  • Never leave a fire unattended
  • Extinguish fire pits and campfires in designated fire rings and ensure they are completely out and cold to the touch
  • Properly dispose of cigarettes
  • When pulling a trailer, make sure the chains and other metal parts aren’t dragging
  • Check your tire pressure and brakes. An exposed wheel rim or too thin brake pads can cause sparks.
A reminder, fireworks are never permitted on public land. Wood fires are never permitted anywhere on the Colorado National Monument.

Conditions will continue to be monitored, and restrictions will be adjusted accordingly should it change.

What Stage I Fire Restrictions Mean

Fireworks are not allowed under Stage I Fire Restrictions. Professional fireworks shows may be allowed through the permitting process.

Campfires are ONLY allowed in designated and developed fire pits or fire rings.

Smoking
in open areas is not allowed EXCEPT within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area of at least six feet diameter that is barren or cleared of all combustible material.

While the restrictions do not impact most shooting sports, explosive targets are prohibited.


Open Burning

The open burning of yard waste or fields is prohibited EXCEPT for agricultural burns with a Sheriff Issued Burn Permit. The Sheriff’s Fire Marshal will conduct an onsite inspection of each planned burn BEFORE a Permit is issued to ensure all safety precautions are met. If they are not met, and conditions do not allow for a safe burn a permit will NOT be issued and any agricultural burn will be in violation of the fire restrictions in place. Applications for a Sheriff issued burn permit can be found here.


Federal Lands

The use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited on federal lands. Wood fires are never permitted anywhere on the Colorado National Monument.


Penalties

Causing a fire during fire restrictions can be a class 6 felony and can be punishable by fines up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment up to 18 months. Other possible charges include Fourth Degree Arson (M2) and Intentionally Setting a Wildfire (F3). You may also be held financially responsible for damage caused.

 View Interactive Fire Restrictions Map at bit.ly/Fire_Restrictions



Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Deputies involved in Loma officer-involved shooting identified

MESA COUNTY, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is identifying the two MCSO deputies involved in the officer-involved shooting that occurred on the morning of August 29, 2020.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office deputies who discharged their duty firearm during this incident are Deputy Brandon Barry and Deputy Justin Rolbiecki.

Deputy Brandon Barry is a 5-year veteran of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office currently assigned to patrol. Deputy Justin Rolbiecki is a 4-year veteran of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office currently assigned to patrol.

As per standard protocol, Deputy Brandon Barry and Deputy Justin Rolbiecki will remain on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation that takes place independently of the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) investigation.

The officer-involved shooting remains under investigation by the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team. For the information about the CIRT investigation, click here.

Two Hunters rescued from snowstorm on the Uncompahgre

MESA COUNTY, Colo - At approximately 12:30 Tuesday afternoon, the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center received an SOS message from a satellite emergency notification device.

Dispatchers determined a 50-year-old hunter and his 27-year-old son were lost in the snowstorm on the Uncompahgre.

Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and the Mesa County Search and Rescue Team immediately responded to their GPS coordinates in the area of Kelso Point. Due to the remote location, an outfitter in the area was also called to help reach the two hunters quickly.

Both were found very cold but safe. With rapidly changing weather conditions, rescue crews attribute their safe return to the GPS emergency notification device they were carrying.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind anyone recreating or hunting in the wilderness to prepare for extreme temperature conditions, especially this time of year. Even if you are only going out for a short time, always be prepared with extra water, food, and clothes. GPS devices are an excellent tool to help navigate. Make sure you are familiar with the technology and using it before going out.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Man arrested after overnight crime spree

Jorge Robledo-Aispuro, 25 MCSO Photo 9-3-20
MESA COUNTY, Colo – Mesa County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Jorge Robledo-Aispuro, 25, Thursday after an overnight crime spree involving stolen cars and theft.

At approximately 6:15 a.m., deputies were notified a red 1999 Chevy Tahoe was stolen from a residence on the 2800 block of Lexington Lane.

About two hours later, deputies located the stolen Tahoe along with a stolen trailer and other stolen property near where a second vehicle was reported stolen.  Witnesses reported seeing a man push the broken down Tahoe from Highway 50 to the area of the 700 block of Siminoe Road, then proceed to steal a blue Ford F150 at a nearby residence.

Mesa County Sheriff’s Deputies alerted the Delta County Sheriff’s Office about the stolen Ford F150, possibly headed in their direction. A short time later, the F150 was spotted by Delta County Sheriff’s Deputies driving on Highway 50. When they attempted to pull the vehicle over, the driver fled at a high rate of speed. The vehicle came to a stop at the parking area of Escalante Canyon, in Delta County. Delta Sheriff’s Deputies were able to take the male, identified as Jorge Robledo-Aispuro, into custody.

Upon further investigation, deputies discovered additional crimes, including vandalism at a residence on the 200 block of Snyder Creek Road.

Robledo-Aispuro is facing the following charges:

  • 2 counts of 1st Degree Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft F4

  • Vehicular Eluding F5

  • 1st Degree Criminal Trespass F5

  • Theft $5000-$20000 F5

  • Criminal Mischief $750-$1000 M1

  • Theft $750-$2000 M1

  • Obstructing a Peace Officer M2

  • Criminal Mischief $300-$750 M2

  • 2nd Degree Criminal Trespass M3

  • Criminal Mischief less than $300 M3

  • 2 counts of 3rd Degree Criminal Trespass

  • Driving Under Restraint

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank community members who shared their home surveillance video on the Neighbors App. This information was able to help deputies identify additional crimes related to this crime spree. This is a perfect example as to why residents are encouraged to report all crime, no matter how small. It could be a key piece to solving a much larger crime.   

Robledo-Aispuro is currently being held in the Mesa County Detention Facility. For the latest bond amounts, visit our website.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Early morning shooting in the desert

8/31/20 Update: Upon further investigation, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office investigators have identified a second shooting victim related to Saturday's incident. Both shooting victims have sought medical attention and are expected to recover.

Investigators continue to interview witnesses to determine the circumstances around the shooting. It is believed the incident happened during a late-night party in the desert area of 27 1/4 Rd near the dam.

The case is still under investigation.

If anyone has information about this crime, please contact the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 242-6707. 




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MESA COUNTY, Colo – At approximately 3:15 a.m. Saturday, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to St. Mary’s Hospital to investigate a possible shooting.

The adult male arrived at the emergency room conscious and breathing with a gunshot wound. Upon investigation, it was determined the man was shot in the desert area of 27 1/4 Rd near the dam.

Investigators are interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence. The circumstances surrounding the shooting are still under investigation.

If anyone has information about this crime please contact the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 242-6707.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

MCSO joins Neighbors App

MESA COUNTY, Colo – The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office has joined the Neighbors App to engage with community members and improve safety in Mesa County. The Neighbors App is free a social media platform designed for neighbors to share information about local crime and safety incidents to keep fellow residents informed. The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is utilizing this new platform to connect with residents and work in partnership to reduce crime in local neighborhoods.

Neighbors App users can share photos and videos directly with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office to help solve local crimes. Deputies can directly inform community members of recent crimes, offer safety tips, and issue safety alerts specific to their neighborhood. Deputies may also ask community members to share relevant video surveillance to help solve crimes. Residents can then choose to share video directly through the Neighbors App. It is important to note, it is the resident’s choice on whether or not to share video with deputies. This app does not give deputies access to home security systems.

Anyone with a smartphone can download the Neighbors App to receive updates and have the option to post photos or videos from any device. You do not need a Ring device to join Neighbors. Neighbors is not proprietary to Ring and will accept all brands of video systems, cell phone video, and images.

We know when communities work together safer neighborhoods are the result. This new community partnership gives residents the ability to take a more active role in reducing crime in their neighborhood.

Neighbors App is not a replacement for 911. If you have an emergency, please call 911. To report a crime call (970) 242-6707 or visit https://sheriff.mesacounty.us/how-do-i/report-a-crime/.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Pine Gulch Fire: New Wildfire Resource

Ash collecting on a parked Mesa County Sheriff's Office vehicle
MESA COUNTY, Colo - This morning, many of us woke up to our cars and homes covered in ash. The ash is from the Pine Gulch Fire currently burning approximately 125,000 acres about 18 miles north of Grand Junction in both Mesa and Garfield Counties. To view an interactive map of where the fire is currently burning click here.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is working closely with the Pine Gulch Fire incident management team to ensure the safety of our community. We are actively engaged in fire management and will keep Mesa County residents informed of the fire's progress. Currently, there are no evacuation orders for residents in Mesa County.

Road Closures
Due to fire activity, several roads have been closed to the public. 

Southeast of Fire
  • Roan Creek Road (204) at North Dry Fork Road (200)
  • V 2/10 Road southwest of De Beque
  • Coal Canyon Road just past the Cameo Shooting Range
Southwest of Fire 
  • Highway 139 north of Loma between Mile Point 6 and 39 (CDOT closure)
  • 21 Road north of the BLM boundary
  • 16 Road at V 8/10 Road
  • Q 5/10 Road is closed at 18 Road

New Online Resource
To help keep the public informed, we've created an online Fire Information Resource. Here you will find the latest information from the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team about the Pine Gulch Fire as well as health and safety resources related to wildfires.  

Smoke and ash will continue to affect our community as fire crews work diligently to contain this fire. Please limit your time outdoors.  As you work to clean up the ash, avoid stirring up or sifting through ash as much as you can. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends:
  • Mist areas with ash to keep the dust down. Follow with wet mopping. 
  • Use a damp cloth or wet mop on lightly dusted areas. 
  • When you wet down ash, use as little water as you can.
Please take a moment to review this EPA guide on how to safely clean up ash. More information can be found on our website.

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions
Mesa County is currently in Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. The region is experiencing extreme drought and dangerous fire conditions. Learn more about you can help us prevent more fires.

Sign up for Emergency Alerts
Mesa County uses an Emergency Notification System to provide essential information quickly during an emergency. Landlines are automatically signed up for the Emergency Notification System, however, cell phone users need to sign up. To get an alert sent to your cell phone sign up here.

For the latest information about the Pine Gulch Fire click here.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Pine Gulch Fire: Road Closures north of Fruita

Due to fire activity and the need for fire crews to work safely, the following roads are closed to the public:
  • Q 5/10 Road is closed at 18 Road.
  • 16 Road is closed prior to V 8/10 Road.
  • 21 Road northbound is closed starting approximately three miles north of the BLM boundary. 
On the east side of the fire, Roan Creek Road (204) at North Dry Fork (200) road remains closed.

Thank you for keeping these areas clear for fire personnel. The road closures are not only for the public’s safety but also for firefighters working in the area.

For the latest information about the Pine Gulch Fire click here or follow the fire's Facebook page.


Thursday, August 13, 2020

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions begin August 14, 2020


MESA COUNTY, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Fire Chiefs representing municipalities, and fire protection districts of Mesa County are implementing Stage 2 Fire Restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, August 14th, 2020. This order applies to all of Mesa County, including the Colorado National Monument, BLM administered public lands with the EXCEPTION of land managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

“We’ve monitored our severe and extreme drought conditions all summer. We have reached the point where additional fire restrictions are warranted in the interest of safety,” said Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis. “When our community works together to exercise caution during high fire danger conditions, we can significantly reduce human-caused fires.”

Fire restrictions are implemented based on specific criteria to include the moisture content of vegetation, weather outlooks, human risk factors, and firefighting resource availability. Hot, dry, windy conditions combined with dry fuels have created dangerous fire conditions with no weather relief in sight. The National Weather Service is forecasting continued above-average temperatures and below-normal precipitation.

“We have the benefit of being able to observe fire behavior, rather than just using modeling. Right now, extreme fire behavior has become the norm driven by critically dry fuel conditions. Any new starts have the potential to exhibit extreme fire behavior as well. That’s why it’s paramount to work together to prevent any more fires,” said Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Fire Behavior Analyst Timothy Foley.

Recently, our region has had several significant fires that have forced people from their homes and used a considerable amount of fire suppression resources. Two of those fires were human-caused, the Ruby Lee Fire and the MM 45 Fire.

“We cannot afford to have fires start in these conditions, and we need everyone to do their part to make sure we are following Stage 2 guidance for how to prevent fires,” said Grand Junction Fire Chief Ken Watkins.

Our community is currently impacted by the Pine Gulch Fire, which has burned nearly 70,000 acres and affected our air quality with smoke. With relative humidity so low and gusty erratic winds, fire suppression efforts become a challenge.

“We have extremely hot and dry conditions and the fire danger is high right now. We ask the public to please follow these restrictions and be cautious while out on public lands." Grand Junction Field Manager Greg Wolfgang.

What Stage 2 Fire Restrictions Mean

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions prohibit the use of anything that produces an open flame that is not liquid-fueled or gas-fueled on both public land and private residences. The general rule of thumb is if the fire can be “turned off,” rather than “put out,” it is allowed.

Prohibited:
  • Parking or driving a motor vehicle off established roads, motorized trails, or established parking areas unless the parking area has no vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle.
  • Building, maintaining, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal grill, coal, wood-burning stove, sheepherder’s stove, tiki torches, fire pits, and chimineas including in developed picnic, camping areas, and at private residences (outdoors).
  • The use of ANY fireworks.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
  • Any unpermitted use of fire to burn debris or vegetation.
  • Shooting tracer rounds or explosive type targets or the use of explosives including fuses, blasting caps, and rockets.
  • Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame EXCEPT in cleared areas of at least 10 ft in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher. Activity Prohibited on Federal Land.
  • Operating an internal combustion engine such as a chainsaw, generator or ATV, without a spark arresting device installed and working properly. Chainsaws also have to be operated with a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher and a shovel nearby.

Allowed: 
  • Only devices that are liquid-fueled or gas-fueled are permitted. Gas grills, stoves or lanterns with shut-off valves may be used at least three feet away from flammable materials such as dry vegetation.
  • Gas fire pits are allowed under a fire ban as the fire can be “turned off” rather than “put out.”
  • Agricultural burns only with a SHERIFF’S OFFICE ISSUED PERMIT. Click here for an application.
  • Any indoor fireplaces or indoor wood burning stoves used for heat. Please make sure there is a spark arrestor in working order.   

View Interactive Fire Restrictions Map at bit.ly/Fire_Restrictions


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

MCSO and Clifton Fire Protection District investigate a fatal fire

MESA COUNTY, Colo - At approximately 8:00 Monday evening, fire crews with the Clifton Fire Protection District responded to a structure fire at 3272 F Road.

When the first engine arrived, fire crews found the older four-unit apartment building fully involved. The Grand Junction Fire Department and Palisade Fire Department also responded.

A witness said the fire spread very rapidly, describing they saw smoke, and then the whole building was on fire almost immediately.

Three people evacuated safely. An adult female and a cat died in the fire. The Mesa County Coroner’s Office is responsible for releasing the identity of the deceased once next-of-kin is notified as well as determining the cause and manner of death.

Crews worked into the night and were able to keep the fire from spreading to neighboring buildings. All four units in the apartment complex were heavily damaged.

The American Red Cross is assisting those impacted by this fire with their recovery needs.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is assisting with the investigation into the origin and cause of the fire. So far, fire investigators have determined the cause of the fire to be accidental in nature. No smoke detectors were found inside the apartment complex.

The case is still under investigation.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Inmate death at the Mesa County Jail


10/12/20 Update: The Mesa County Coroner's Office has completed additional testing and released the following statement:

"This is a follow-up media release regarding the death of Andre Steele, a 33-year-old male resident of Grand Junction, Colorado. Mr. Steele was the male that died in the jail on August 8, 2020. The cause of death was cardiac hypertrophy and the manner is natural. His toxicology came back with his medications within therapeutic ranges and negative for any illicit drugs.

The law enforcement agency overseeing this investigation is the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. Please contact them for any further details regarding this case."

----------------

8/10/20 Update: The Mesa County Coroner's Office released the following statement:

"The Mesa County Coroner’s Office has completed its examination regarding the death of Andre Steele, a 33-year-old male resident of Grand Junction, Colorado. Mr. Steele was the male that died in the jail on August 8, 2020. The cause and the manner of death is pending for additional testing and actively investigating the circumstances surrounding the death.

The law enforcement agency overseeing this investigation is the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. Please contact them for any further details regarding this case."








Previous:
MESA COUNTY, Colo: On the morning of 08/08/20, a 33-year-old male, who was being held in the Mesa County Detention Facility on felony charges relating to domestic violence, was found unresponsive by his cellmates. Deputies and medical staff immediately attempted life-saving measures while the Grand Junction Fire Department responded to the Detention Facility. The inmate was declared deceased at the scene. The inmate was not on a suicide watch. The case is being investigated by the Mesa County Sheriff's Office and the Mesa County Coroner. Next of kin has been notified. The Coroner’s Office will release the inmate’s name as well as the cause and manner of death.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Deputies involved in Fruita officer-involved shooting identified

Deputy Mitchell Meens
Deputy Ryan Reasoner
MESA COUNTY, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is identifying the two MCSO deputies involved in the officer-involved shooting that occurred on the morning of July 17, 2020.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office deputies who discharged their duty firearm during this incident are Deputy Ryan Reasoner and Deputy Mitchell Meens.

Deputy Ryan Reasoner is a 3-year veteran of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. He is a Field Training Officer and is a recipient of the Medal of Merit Award. Deputy Reasoner is currently assigned to patrol.

Deputy Mitchell Meens is a 2-year veteran of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. He is a recipient of the Medal of Merit Award and is currently assigned to patrol.

As per standard protocol, Deputy Ryan Reasoner, and Deputy Mitchell Meens will remain on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation that takes place independently of the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) investigation.

The officer-involved shooting remains under investigation by the Critical Incident Response Team. For the information about the CIRT investigation click here.

Update:
The 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office released its review of the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) investigation of the officer-involved shooting on July 17, 2020. District Attorney Dan Rubinstein’s findings can be reviewed here:

Friday, July 24, 2020

Adult male found deceased on a remote hiking trail



7/27/30 UPDATE: The Mesa County Coroner's Office has released the following

"The Mesa County Coroner’s Office has completed its examination regarding the death of Conrad Earnest, a 62-year-old male resident of Grand Junction, Colorado. Mr. Earnest was the male that was reported missing and later found in Glade Park, Colorado on July 24, 2020. The cause of death is ischemic heart disease and the manner of death is natural. "

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Previous:

5:00 p.m. UPDATE: The Mesa County Coroner's Office has released the following statement:

"Conrad Earnest was the male found near Glade Park today. We will release a formal media release once the autopsy is complete."

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Original:

MESA COUNTY, Colo – Thursday, July 23, 2020, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and Mesa County Search and Rescue were called to assist locating a missing person in the Glade Park area.

Deputies searched late into the night and again this morning along with the missing person’s friends. At approximately 10:30 Friday morning, the person’s car was found in the Miracle Rock campground. A short time later an adult male was found deceased on the Miracle Rock hiking trail.

The Mesa County Coroner’s Office will release the person’s identity once next-of-kin has been notified. They are also responsible for determining the cause and manner of death.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating this as an unattended death. Nothing suspicious is suspected at this time.


Monday, July 6, 2020

Palisade man arrested after overnight stabbing

Wesley Odneal, 27
MCSO Photo 7-6-20
MESA COUNTY, Colo – At approximately 10 p.m. Sunday, July 5, 2020, Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a stabbing near Davis Circle and G 7/10th Road in Palisade. 

The 34-year-old male victim was transported to the hospital with multiple stab wounds. He is expected to survive.

Investigators determined the injuries occurred as a result of an argument that occurred between two individuals on G 7/10th Road.

Wesley Odneal, 27, of Palisade was arrested and is facing the charge of Assault in the First Degree with Intent to Cause Serious Bodily Injury with a Deadly Weapon.

Odneal is currently being held at the Mesa County Detention Facility. For updated bond amounts, visit our website.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

30th Annual Independence Monument Climb on 4th of July

Climbers at the top of  Independence Monument
Climbers at the top of 
Independence Monument
MESA COUNTY, Colo –  The Mesa County Search and Rescue Technical Rescue Team is gearing up for their 30th annual climb up Independence Monument to raise the American Flag. This continues a tradition started by Colorado National Monument founder John Otto in 1911. There are 12 climbers participating in this year’s event: 6 Search and Rescue volunteers will be accompanied by 6 guest climbers. Four of the guest climbers this year are members of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.

Once the American Flag is placed, it will remain atop Independence Monument for about a week for people to view.

Along with the celebration of our nation’s freedom, all donations from this event will go towards the purchasing of equipment and training for Mesa County Search and Rescue Team. Learn more about Mesa County Search and Rescue. 


How to watch

Flag and climbers on Independence Monument
View of climbers from 
Independence Monument View
The team hikes to the base of Independence Monument and begins climbing early in the morning. Once everyone reaches the top, they will raise the American flag. Depending on how fast they climb, the flag-raising will take place on top of Independence Monument approximately between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on July 4th.

The best viewing opportunities to see this traditional July 4th event in the Colorado National Monument are:
  • Independence Monument View
  • The end of Otto’s Trail 
  • Grand View
Independence Monument
If these parking areas are full, come back later. Often people only view the portion of the climb. The entire climb lasts most of the day, and the flag will be available to view about a week after it is placed. 

There is very little shade. It's recommended to bring lots of water, sunscreen and binoculars to view the event.

Please keep in mind the entry fee for the Colorado National Monument is $25 per vehicle. Colorado National Monument annual passes and America the Beautiful Passes are also honored. 

Please be mindful of social distancing and wear cloth masks where appropriate.

 


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions begin June 26th, 2020

MESA COUNTY, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff, the Bureau of Land Management and the Fire Chiefs representing municipalities and fire protection districts of Mesa County are implementing Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 26th, 2020. This applies to all of Mesa County including BLM land with the EXCEPTION of land managed by the U.S. Forest Service. 

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions prohibit:
  • Personal use of fireworks
  • Campfires outside of designated fire pits or fire rings
  • Agricultural open burning without a Sheriff’s issued burn permit
  • Use of explosive targets
  • Smoking outside near combustible materials.
“We don’t make this decision without thoughtful consideration. We look at the data, the potential for significant wildfires and balance it with the impacts to our community,” said Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis. “I’m concerned with the level of fire danger we are seeing, one spark could quickly spread into a dangerous wildfire threatening lives, property and natural resources.”

Fire restrictions are implemented based on specific criteria to include moisture content of vegetation, weather outlooks, human risk factors and firefighting resource availability. It’s been hot, dry, and unseasonably windy. So far this year, we’ve had 15 Red Flag Warnings which is more than what we typically see over an entire year. The National Weather Service is forecasting above average temperatures and dry conditions with no relief from rain anytime soon.

“It’s important to recognize the inherent fire danger associated with the current weather conditions within our city and do everything that we can as a community to reduce the human causes of brush and wildland fires," said Grand Junction Fire Chief Ken Watkins.

With increasingly dry vegetation, severe drought conditions, and Fourth of July celebrations approaching, the danger for human caused wildfires increases even more.

"We are starting to see more human caused fires. The recent hot and dry conditions and no forecast for significant moisture in the next few weeks pose greater fire risk. We want everyone to be cautious on the upcoming holiday weekend while enjoying their public lands." stated Grand Junction Field Manager Greg Wolfgang.

What Stage I Fire Restrictions Mean

Fireworks are not allowed under Stage I Fire Restrictions. Professional fireworks shows may be allowed through the permitting process.

Campfires are ONLY allowed in designated fire pits or fire rings.

Smoking in open areas is not allowed EXCEPT within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area of at least six feet diameter that is barren or cleared of all combustible material.

While the restrictions do not impact most shooting sports, explosive targets are prohibited.

Open Burning

The open burning of yard waste or fields is prohibited EXCEPT for agricultural burns with a Sheriff Issued Burn Permit. The Sheriff’s Fire Marshal will conduct an onsite inspection of each planned burn BEFORE a Permit is issued to ensure all safety precautions are met. If they are not met, and conditions do not allow for a safe burn a permit will NOT be issued and any agricultural burn will be in violation of the fire restrictions in place. Applications for a Sheriff issued burn permit can be found here.

Penalties

Causing a fire during fire restrictions can be a class 6 felony and can be punishable by fines up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment up to 18 months. Other possible charges include Fourth Degree Arson (M2) and Intentionally Setting a Wildfire (F3). You may also be held financially responsible for damage caused.

Federal Lands

The use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited on federal lands. Wood fires are never permitted anywhere on the Colorado National Monument.

View Interactive Fire Restrictions Map at bit.ly/Fire_Restrictions