Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Juvenile arrested after seen with a gun at CHS

MESA COUNTY, Colo – At approximately 1:40 this afternoon, Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a juvenile male seen on Central High School’s campus with what was believed to be gun. Students who saw the juvenile, who is not a student at CHS, reported the suspicious incident to School Resource Officers. Central High School and Grand Mesa Middle School were immediately put into shelter in while deputies began searching for the male suspect who had left the school’s campus.

As part of the shelter-in-place process, extra law enforcement officers were also stationed at the schools as a precaution.

Through the course of investigation, deputies learned the suspect had a possible connection to Grand Junction High School. As a result, Grand Junction High School was put on shelter in place out an abundance of caution.

Grand Junction High School and Grand Mesa Middle School released school on time.

Initially, a normal release time was planned at Central High School. However, due to last minute information the suspect may still be near the school, extra security measures were put into place delaying the release of students. Our number one priority is the ensuring the safety of students. We appreciate parents’ patience during the reunification process.

The juvenile suspect was taken into custody at 4:30 p.m. on the 3200 block of Lombardy Lane. Charges stemming from this incident are pending. The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office will be working with 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office to determine the appropriate charges as the investigation continues.

At this time, all students are safe. There are no reports of any injuries.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office wants to commend the students who came forward. Remember if you see something suspicious or not right, tell a teacher, school resource officer or call 911.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Update: District Attorney declines charges against GJPD Officer in Feb. OIS



MESA COUNTY, Colo – At approximately 2:30 a.m. on February 2, 2020, an officer with the Grand Junction Police Department was getting gas at the Maverick gas station at 2902 D Road when a clerk asked for his assistance. The clerk told the officer a man had been in the restroom for several hours and had not left. A second officer arrived to assist. During the contact with the individual an officer involved shooting occurred. The involved individual was identified as 30-year-old Victor Jackson.

Jackson was transported to the hospital and treated for his injuries. Once he was medically cleared and released, he was arrested for charges related to this incident. None of the involved law enforcement officers were injured.

As with all officer-involved shootings in Mesa County, the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team was responsible for the investigation of this incident. The agencies involved in this investigation were the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and Colorado Department of Corrections Adult Parole.

The CIRT investigation was completed and turned over to the 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office. District Attorney Dan Rubinstein has completed his review of the investigation, and his findings can be reviewed here.


Previous press releases about this incident can be viewed here. 

One arrested after carjacking incident on I-70

2/19/2020 Update: Suspect in Tuesday morning’s carjacking identified

Justin Bopp, 33
MCSO Photo
MESA COUNTY, Colo -  Justin Bopp, 33, of Grand Junction was medically cleared and released from the hospital yesterday. Bopp was transported to the Mesa County Detention Facility.

He is facing the following charges:
  • Robbery (Class 3 Felony)
  • Crimes Against at Risk Person – Robbery (Class 3 Felony)
  • Second Degree Assault with Injury – Intent to Cause Bodily Injury (Class 4 Felony)
  • First Degree Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft, Uses Vehicle in Commission of a Crime (Class 4 Felony)
  • Theft $750-2,000 (M1)
  • Theft Less than $50
  • Reckless Endangerment (M3)
Deputies have located the outstanding female witness and were able to speak with her.  Deputies have determined she is in fact a victim in this case.

This case is still under investigation.


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



2/18/2020 Previous:

MESA COUNTY, Colo - At approximately 4:30 this morning Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a carjacking near the Beavertail Tunnel on I-70.

The victim told deputies he saw two people, a man and a woman, on the side of the road, who looked like they had just been in a car accident. When he stopped to help them, the man assaulted him and stole his car. The female did not get in the car, and has not been found. The victim was transported to the hospital.

Deputies later found a white Chevy Blazer rolled onto its side at a rest stop just west of the Beavertail Tunnel. This is believed to be the car accident that preceded this incident.

At approximately 5:00 am, the Grand Junction Police Department responded to a crash at 30 Road and Patterson Road involving the stolen car and another vehicle. The male driver was arrested. He was transported to the hospital.

Charges related to today incident are currently being investigated.

Deputies would like to speak with the female as a possible witness to this incident. If you have information about her whereabouts please contact the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 242-6707.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Arrest made in officer involved shooting




GRAND JUNCTION, Colo – An arrest has been made in connection with the February 2, 2020 officer involved shooting currently being investigated by the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team.

Victor Jackson, 30, was released from the hospital today and was taken into custody.

Victor Jackson, 30
MCSO Photo 2-13-2020
Jackson was arrested on the following charges:
  • 2 Counts of First Degree Assault (Class 3 Felony)
  • 2 Counts of Menacing with Deadly Weapon (Class 5 Felony)
  • Resisting Arrest (M2)
  • Possession of a Weapon by a Previous Offender (Class 5 Felony)
  • Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft, Less than $20,000 (Class 5 Felony)
  • Criminal Impersonation (Class 6 Felony)
  • Criminal Possession of a Financial Device, four or more (Class 5 Felony)
  • Criminal Possession of an Identification Document, two or more (Class 6 Felony)
  • Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (Class 4 Drug Felony)
  • Special Offender, sentence enhancer (Class 1 Drug Felony)
Jackson is currently being held in the Mesa County Detention Facility on a $1,000,000 Cash Bond. For updated bond amounts visit our website.

The case has been turned over to the 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office for review.

For previous press releases about this case, click here.

As with all officer involved shootings in Mesa County, the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team comprised of representatives of the Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Fruita Police Department, Palisade Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office, Colorado State Parole and Colorado Bureau of Investigation, is responsible for the investigation of this incident.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

🚨 SCAM Alert 🚨 This is a NEW one!

MESA COUNTY, Colo -  Mesa County Sheriff's Office has been alerted to a new type of scam. Scammers are posing as local organizations and churches to try to trick people in to buying gift cards for someone in need. But as soon as they send a picture of the gift card to the scammer, the money is stolen.


Why is this Alarming:
  • The scammers are using real people's names who belong to the organization or church they are pretending to be.
  • Scammers are contacting their intended victims by text message or email. Some are even spoofing the phone number of the organization they are trying to pose as.

Don't Fall for it!!!  The Mesa County Sheriff's Office wants to alert the public to this new type of scam. The best defense against any type of scam is being able to recognize it.


Here is what to do:
  • If you get a message asking you to buy a gift card for an organization to help someone in need, STOP Call the person who contacted you directly. Verify it's really them asking you to donate.
  •  NEVER give gift card numbers and pin information over the phone or via email. ALWAYS donate in person!!! Scammers will take that information and immediately steal the money and it is not traceable.

Examples of the scam

Text messages:


Email:



Monday, February 10, 2020

Two arrested in connection with a theft from auto

Shawn Sutherland, 24
MCSO Photo 2-8-20
MESA COUNTY, Colo – As part of an effort to prevent crimes such as theft from vehicles, Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies deployed bait operation equipment on Friday, February 7, 2020 in the area of Sara Lane and Mesa Ave.

Later that day, at approximately 2:30 pm deputies were alerted an item was stolen from a vehicle used in the bait operation. Deputies tracked the item to a home on the 500 block of Sara Lane.

Shawn Sutherland, 24, of Clifton was arrested and is facing the following charges:
  • Tampering with Physical Evidence (Class 6 Felony)
  • First Degree Criminal Trespass of Auto (Class 5 Felony)
  • Theft $50- $300 from Motor Vehicle (M3)

Michael Simpson, 38, of Clifton was arrested and is facing the following charge:
  • Tampering with Physical Evidence (Class 6 Felony)
Michael Simpson, 38
MCSO Photo 2-8-20

Both Sutherland and Simpson were booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility.


The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office utilizes bait operations as a proactive investigative tool to reduce property crime. Operations are conducted in areas where on-going criminal activity has been reported to specially target auto thieves and persons breaking and entering into cars with the intent to steal property. Bait operations give deputies a proactive way to identify suspects without a community member becoming a victim of a crime.

Remember, the best prevention of theft is to lock your car and remove all valuables.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Update: MCSO investigating report of shots fired


Adam Phillips, 31
MCSO Photo 11-8-19
2/6/2020 Update: Mesa County Sheriff’s Office investigators have made three arrests related to Wednesday’s incident on Orchard Ave. The incident was determined to be an armed robbery where shots were fired. No one was hurt.

Adam Phillips, 31, of Grand Junction is facing the following charges:
  • Aggravated Robbery (Class 3 Felony)
  • Possession of Weapons by Previous Offenders (Class 4 Felony)
  • Conspiracy (Class 6 Felony)
  • Special Circumstances used, displayed, or possessed deadly weapon during offense (Class 1 Drug Felony)
  • Possession of a Schedule I/II (Class 4 Drug Felony)
  • Criminal Attempt (Class 4 Felony)
  • Vehicular Eluding (Class 5 Felony)
  • Resisting Arrest (M2)
  • Speeding 25-39 MPH over limit
Phillips was also arrested on a Parole violation.

Jarrod Bidlack, 22, of Grand Junction is facing the following charges:
Jarrod Bidlack, 22
MCSO Photo 12-7-19
  • Aggravated Robbery (Class 3 Felony)
  • Possession of a Deface Firearm (M1)
  • Possession of Weapons by Previous Offenders (Class 4 Felony)
  • Conspiracy (Class 6 Felony)
  • Criminal Attempt (Class 4 Felony)
  • Special Circumstances used, displayed, or possessed deadly weapon during offense (Class 1 Drug Felony)
  • Possession of a Schedule I/II (Class 4 Drug Felony)
Bidlack was also arrested on an unrelated Felony warrant out of the Grand Junction Police Department.

The third person arrested is a juvenile male. He was transported to the Department of Youth Services. Charges stemming from this incident are pending. The District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case to determine the appropriate charges. The juvenile was also arrested on 4 unrelated Felony warrants: 3 out of the Grand Junction Police Department and one out of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.

Bidlack and Phillips are currently being held in the Mesa County Detention Facility.



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

4:30pm Update:

Four people were arrested on unrelated charges. Two adults and one juvenile were arrested on outstanding warrants unrelated to this morning's incident. An additional adult was arrested on a parole violation.

Charges related to today’s incident are still being reviewed. Investigators are still conducting interviews and gathering evidence. No injuries have been reported.

The investigation is ongoing.

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

Previous:

MESA COUNTY, Colo – At approximately 9:15 this morning the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and Grand Junction Police Department responded to a report of possible shots fired in the area of 28 3/4 Road and Orchard Ave.

As law enforcement arrived, a vehicle was seen fleeing the area. Deputies initiated a traffic stop, but the vehicle did not slow down and continued on at a high rate of speed. Sheriff’s deputies ultimately performed a Tactical Vehicle Intervention (TVI) and the SUV came to a stop in a ditch on 32 Road near Corn Lake.

Multiple people have been detained related to this incident. Investigators are currently interviewing those detained as well as possible witnesses to determined what occurred. So far no injuries have been reported.

Nisley Elementary, Rocky Mountain Elementary, Bookcliff Middle School and several daycares in the area were put into a shelter-in-place out of an abundance of caution. Schools and daycares have since returned to normal operations.

The investigation is ongoing. Charges related to today’s incident are still being evaluated.

If you have information about this crime please contact the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 242-6707 or call Crime Stoppers at (970) 241-STOP.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

CIRT Activated to investigate officer involved shooting

****UPDATE****
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo- As of 1115 this morning, Sunday, February 2, 2020, law enforcement cleared the scene at the Maverik gas station at 2902 D Road. The investigation is still underway at this time.


****PREVIOUSLY RELEASED****
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo- At approximately 0230 on Sunday, February 2, 2020, officers with the Grand Junction Police Department were requested to assist with the removal of an adult individual from the Maverik gas station at 2902 D road. During the contact with the individual an officer involved shooting occurred. The involved individual was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.  None of the involved law enforcement officers were injured.  There will be increased activity in the area of 29 Road and D Road as law enforcement continues to investigate this incident.

As with all officer involved shootings in Mesa County, the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team comprised of representatives of the Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff's Department, Fruita Police Department, Palisade Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office, Colorado State Parole and Colorado Bureau of Investigation, is responsible for the investigation of this incident.

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.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Grand Junction man arrested for sex assault on a child

 Erik Craig, 39
MCSO Photo
MESA COUNTY, Colo – Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Erik Craig, 39, of Grand Junction, Tuesday after a warrant for his arrested was obtained.

Craig is facing the following charges:
  • 2nd Degree Kidnapping (Class 2 Felony)
  • Sexual Assault on a Child (Class 4 Felony)
  • Sexual Assault on a Child- Pattern of Abuse (Class 3 Felony)
  • Enticement of a Child, with previous conviction (Class 3 Felony)
  • Obscenity (Class 6 Felony)
  • Failure to register as a Sex Offender (Class 6 Felony)
The charges stem from an alleged incident that occurred in Mesa County in May of 2019 involving a juvenile victim.

Craig is currently being held in the Mesa County Detention Facility on a No Bond Hold until First Appearance. For updated bond amounts visit our website.

This case remains under investigation.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Arizona man faces drug charges after stop on I-70

Fernando Jimenez-Arellanes, 44
MCSO Photo 1-17-2020

MESA COUNTY, Colo - On Friday, January 17, 2020 at approximately 2:30 am, a Mesa County Sheriff’s deputy assigned to the Western Colorado Drug Task Force stopped a car traveling eastbound on I-70 at mile post 16 after the car was observed weaving on the highway.

During the traffic stop, the deputy obtained permission to search the trunk of the car. Inside, a bag was found containing 20 packages of a crystalline substance consistent with methamphetamine. Total gross weight was approximately 20 pounds which is consistent with distribution.

The driver, identified as Fernando Jimenez-Arellanes, 44, of Arizona, was arrested and is facing the following charges:
  • Distribution/ Manufacture/Possession with Intent to Distribute > than 225g of Schedule I/II or > 112g of meth, heroin, ketamine, cathinone or > 50mg of Flunitrazipam, (DF1)
  • Special Circumstances Import > 14g of Schedule I/II or 7g of meth, heroin, ketamine, cathinone or > 10mg of Flunitrazipam (DF1)
  • Failed to drive in single lane (weaving)
Jimenez-Arellanes is currently being held in the Mesa County Detention Facility.

Monday, January 13, 2020

County Sheriffs of Colorado Scholarship Program

MESA COUNTY, Colo - Sheriff Matt Lewis announced today that County Sheriffs of Colorado, Inc. (CSOC), the state Sheriffs Association, will award a $500 scholarship to a deserving Mesa County student next spring. CSOC established the scholarship program in 1978. Since then, this effort has continued as a meaningful expression of the sheriffs’ confidence in and respect for education and training. CSOC considers this an investment in the future and believes that our membership is helping to provide deserving students with an opportunity to make a positive contribution to society.

Scholarship announcements have been mailed to all high school offices in the eligible counties and to all Colorado higher education institutions. Applications are available online at www.csoc.org, or at the Mesa County Sheriff’s office, which is located at 215 Rice Street.

This is the 39th year that County Sheriffs of Colorado has made such scholarships available. A scholarship will be awarded in more than thirty Colorado counties this year. Applications will be reviewed by a local citizens committee appointed by Sheriff Matt Lewis, and a selection will be made on the basis of criteria established by CSOC. This criterion includes leadership, merit, character, involvement and career purpose.

Any legal permanent resident of Mesa County enrolled in, or applying to, a vocational training program or institution of higher learning in the State of Colorado as a full- or part-time student is eligible to apply. There are no restrictions as to the course of study or training which may be pursued, and no restrictions are placed upon applications by reason of race, creed, age, sex or national origin.

For more information, contact your local high school, college, the Mesa County Sheriff’s office or County Sheriffs of Colorado.

Help find the family who lost their belongings!

Photo of the Car before luggage
falls into the road
UPDATE: We Found Them!!! The family was traveling home to Phoenix after vacationing in Denver when they lost their luggage in Clifton. They didn't realize it was missing until they were almost home. The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is now working on getting their belongings back to them.

Thank you again to the good Samaritan who turned it in!!!

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Previous:

A family's 2020 started off horrible and we need your help to turn it around!

January 2, 2020 the family traveling in this newer model white Honda SUV lost all of their belongings!!! The cargo luggage rack fell off of their car after they stopped for gas just off the Clifton exit of I-70 (exit 37).

Here's the good news. A good Samaritan pulled the luggage out of the road and turned it into the gas station. After nobody claimed it, they turned it into the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.

What we know about this family. We've been able to determine the family includes an adult male, an adult female, an unknown number of children and a dog. They were either headed to or from a ski / snowboarding vacation.

Male driver of the car
Female passenger
So far, no one has reported losing luggage on the highway or in the area. Unfortunately, the surveillance video at the gas station doesn't show us their license plate clearly, but we do know they drove a white newer model Honda SUV.

Help us spread the word their belongings have been found and help us find this family!!!! If you have information on who this family is call us at (970) 244-3258.

*Note anyone claiming the property will have to accurately describe the contents of the luggage.  

Case #2020-689

Friday, January 10, 2020

Update: Juveniles behind vandalism spree



UPDATE: Mesa County Sheriff’s Office deputies have identified suspects in a string of vandalism incidents that occurred in Fruitvale.

Currently, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating 12 incidents of vandalism that occurred between December 29, 2019 and January 4, 2020 in the area of 29 ½ Rd and Parkway Dr. During these incidents, several car and home windows were broken with rocks and car tires were slashed with a knife. Total damage as a result of these crimes is estimated to be thousands of dollars.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office conducted a thorough investigation into these incidents. With the assistance from the community members and the Grand Junction Police Department, two juveniles were identified as the people responsible for these crimes.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is working with the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office to file the appropriate charges.

At this time, investigators believe there are more vandalism incidents that were part of this crime spree that remain unreported.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone in the area between Patterson Road and Cedar Drive and between 29 ½ Road and Eastwood Drive that had a broken window or cut vehicle tire to please report those crimes to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. You can either make a report online or contact our non-emergency dispatch at (970) 242-6707.




----------------------
Previous: 1/3/2020

MESA COUNTY, Colo - Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a string of vandalism incidents that occurred between 12/30/19 and 1/2/2020 in the area of 29 ½ Road and Parkway Drive in Fruitvale.

All five cases occurred at night. Damage reported includes smashed car windows, deflated tires, and rocks thrown through residential windows. No injuries were reported. Total damage is estimated to be over $2,000.

Deputies are increasing patrols in the area and are asking for the public’s help to report any suspicious activity in the area.

If you have information about this crime please call the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 242-6707 or call Mesa County Crime Stoppers at (970) 241-STOP. 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.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Grand Junction man arrested after hours-long standoff

MESA COUNTY, Colo - Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Kelsten Chessani, 28, after an hours-long standoff this afternoon inside an apartment at the Racquet Club Apartments (2915 Orchard Ave).

Chessani had several active warrants for his arrest including a felony warrant out of the Grand Junction Police Department.

When deputies with the Street Crimes Unit attempted to contact Chessani in the apartment complex parking lot earlier this afternoon, he took off running and barricaded himself inside an apartment.

Deputies assisted two people inside the apartment safely outside, but Chessani refused to come out.

Believed to be armed, the combined Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and Grand Junction Police Department SWAT Team were called in to assist.

Residents in the apartment building were evacuated as a precaution. Residents in the surrounding area were asked to shelter in place. Nislely Elementary School and Bookcliff Middle School were placed into shelter in place as a precaution. Students already released from school at Bookcliff Middle School were escorted safely out of the area by deputies. The shelter in place has since been lifted.

Multiple loud hail commands ordering Chessani to exit the residence were given and he refused to comply with deputies’ instructions. A search warrant was obtained to enter the apartment. Ultimately, gas was deployed into the apartment and Chessani surrendered. Chessani was arrested without further incident.

No injuries were reported. Charges related to today incident are currently being investigated.

MCSO investigates overnight attempted armed robbery

Possible witness to attempted armed robbery

UPDATE 1/10/2020: The owner of the truck has been identified. Thank you to everyone who sent in tips!

UPDATE 1/10/2020: Mesa County Sheriff's investigators are looking for the owner of this truck as a possible witness to the attempted armed robbery that occurred on Wednesday at the C & F. This truck was seen on surveillance video at the gas station at the time of the attempted robbery. Investigators believe the driver may have witnessed the crime and would like to speak with them.

If you have information about this person's identity or about this crime please contact the Mesa County Sheriff's Office at (970) 242-6707.



--------------------------------
Previous:

MESA COUNTY, Colo – At approximately 2:45 this morning Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of an adult male attempting to rob the C&F at 3199 Mesa Ave at gunpoint.

The clerk told deputies they fought back and chased the would-be robber out of the store. The clerk was not injured.

The suspect, caught on surveillance video, is described as a white male, thin build, wearing all black hooded Raiders sweatshirt with a red bandana across his face. The male was seen by witnesses getting into an unknown sedan that was waiting at another business just to the west of the convenience store.

If seen, do not approach, the suspect is considered armed and dangerous.

If you have information about the suspect’s identity call the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 242-6707. You can also send in tips anonymously to Mesa County Crime Stoppers at (970) 241-STOP. Information reported to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest can earn you up to $1,000 cash reward.