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, 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!!!


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.


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.