March 21st: Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office has referred a felony charge against 82 year-old Tony Martellaro. Martellaro is the man who admitted being responsible for Monday’s fire along the St. Charles River bottom in eastern Pueblo County.
Martellaro said he started a control burn in the morning, then called the Pueblo County Burn Line and found he was not permitted to burn that day due to a red flag warning. Instead of extinguishing the fire, Martellaro said he monitored the fire until he went inside his home for a brief moment. When he came outside again, the fire had spread to the river bottom and he wasn’t able to extinguish it. Neighbors called 911 to report the fire.
Emergency Services Bureau Captain Leroy Mora said this event could have been much worse. “This gentleman is very lucky his neighbors didn’t lose their homes. The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office has a responsibility to the citizens of Pueblo County to be consistent in our enforcement of laws, especially when it comes to fire investigations this year. The conditions are bad, we will likely have a very active and dangerous fire season.” said Captain Mora.
The fire, named 32nd Command Fire, burned 25 acres and required the response of seven agencies in Pueblo County. Several houses in the area were threatened but ultimately, the fire caused little property damage.
Citizens are urged to follow these steps when conducting a controlled burn in Pueblo County:
• Obtain a permit from your local fire department
• Report your burn to 583-BURN (2876) before you start the fire
• Keep a water source nearby along with a phone in case you lose control of the flames
• Always burn in a cleared area
• Never leave your fire unattended
• Only burn yard debris, no man made materials or other household products
• Don’t burn after dark without special permission
March 21: Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Patrol spent Wednesday afternoon at the Pueblo School for Arts and Sciences. Librarian Ms. Janet Douglas had requested the team come and talk to the students at the school about how service animals help the community. Ms. Douglas had the idea because the children had been reading the Michael Morpurgo novel War Horse. She felt the mounted patrol would be an interesting tie in to the lessons in the book.
“We really thought the mounted patrol was the closest we could get to show the students a military war horse. It would be interesting to learn what goes into training the animals and the hours of training needed for them to be successful. To be able to bring in animals that serve here in our community was thrilling.”Ms. Douglas is also a reading instructor at the school.
Deputy Caitlin Graziano is a member of the mounted unit and was pleased to see the kids interact with the animals. “We talked to the classes about how we desensitize the horses so they are prepared to serve in large crowds surrounded by noise on varying terrains. This event was fun for us and it was clear the kids really enjoyed it.”
The PCSO Mounted Patrol is comprised of paid and volunteer members. If you would like to join the PCSO Volunteer Teams, contact Sherri Herrera at 719/583-6204 or visit the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Website at www.pueblosheriff.com
March 19, 2013
March 16, 2013: From March 10th to March 14th there were 13 thefts from vehicles parked in the Pueblo West area. In some occurrences, victims had left their cars unlocked while in others; the suspects had broken vehicle windows to get to valuable items inside. The items included electronic equipment, electronic games, computers, GPS units, credit cards, purses, and other items. At each of the thefts there was very little evidence for deputies to go on which made tracking down a suspect difficult. Using crime analysis, information sharing, and investigative techniques, deputies began very specific patrols in area where the thefts were occurring. These efforts led to the identification of a suspect, 25 year-old Tyler Baker.
On Thursday, March 14th, deputies executed a search warrant on the Baker residence and immediately recognized many of the items in the home as items reported stolen during the previous three days thefts. While in the residence deputies also saw drugs and drug paraphernalia scattered throughout the home, to include items associated with heroin use. 27 year-old Tamara Trotti lives in the home and admitted to using the drugs. Trotti also admitted she has an infant in the hospital and she had been supplying breast milk to feed to the baby. The Department of Social Services was contacted and is working with the Sheriff’s Office on this case.
Law Enforcement Bureau Captain David Lucero reminds citizen’s to do what they can to prevent themselves from becoming a victim. “This is a good reminder for everyone to lock their car doors even if they aren’t away from their vehicle for long and to never leave things in an unattended car if they have value. Criminals will see those things and a window isn’t going to keep them from taking what is yours. Stealing is victimizing and while these things don’t guarantee you won’t be a victim, it does substantially lessen the likelihood of it.”
Both Baker and Trotti were arrested at the scene and have been booked into Pueblo County Detention Facility.
Tyler Baker is charged with 3 counts of First Degree Criminal Trespass (Class 5 Felony), Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (Class 4 Felony), and Theft under $1000 (Misdemeanor)
Tamara Trotti is charged with Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (Class 4 Felony), Child Abuse Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury (Class 3 Felony), and Theft by Receiving (Misdemeanor)
March 18, 2013
RED FLAG WARNING….due to dry conditions and strong winds….No controlled burns are permitted in Pueblo County.
March 15, 2013
March 15, 2013: Shortly before 6:30 PM on Thursday, March 14th, a 911 caller reported a man trying to steal a truck from the Acorn Store parking lot on Baxter Road and Highway 50 E. The caller reported that a man jumped into a truck and began pulling out of the parking lot while the vehicle’s owner was inside the store. While dispatch was still gathering information, the owner of the 2005 White Dodge Ram ran out of the store after the suspect. By that time, the suspect, later identified as 26 year-old, Brandal W. Johnson had stalled the vehicle while backing onto Baxter Road. Johnson grabbed a purse from the cab of the truck, exited the vehicle and was immediately confronted by the owner of the truck and multiple witnesses. During the confrontation Johnson threatened the group with a knife and then fled on foot.
Deputies continued to search the area around the convenience store when a store clerk called 911 to say they could see Johnson at the payphone outside. Deputies arrived and ordered Johnson to the ground. Johnson initially refused to cooperate but he was successfully taken into custody. It is believed Johnson was intoxicated at the time of this incident.
Brandal Johnson was charged with four counts of Menacing with a deadly Weapon (Class 5 Felony), 2nd Degree Auto Theft (Class 5 Felony) and Theft under $1000 (Class 1 Misdemeanor) and is in custody at Pueblo County Detention Facility.
March 15, 2013: The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Volunteer Dive Team continues its year of holiday themed training as they take to the water at Lake Elizabeth this Saturday, March 16th. This St Patty’s Day themed “Pot-O-Gold” treasure hunt will have members searching for donated “prizes” as they perform a Grid-search at the bottom of the lake. Divers will be available to answer questions and provide demonstrations from 10am-Noon. Citizens and media are encouraged to attend the event.
The team has taken the long standing annual Ice Dive tradition, which is targeted for New Years Day every year, and created a themed training for each holiday in 2013. The team leaders believe it is a fresh way to encourage participation. “We recognized that the New Years Ice Dive and the October underwater pumpkin carving was something members looked forward to attending and participation was up during those trainings.” says Dive Team Leader Nathan Whittington.
Grid Searching is a critical skill for recovery of drowning victims and is also used during evidence recovery. Grid searches typically involve identifying a predetermined spot, such as the last known location of a swimmer, and creating a grid pattern incorporating that spot. Volunteers then complete a thorough search of every square inside the grid, cataloging any finds along the way. It allows for a complete and documented search of an area and is used for underwater, urban, and rugged terrain searches.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the PCSO Dive Team, or any other volunteer opportunity at the Sheriff’s Office, can contact Sherri Herrera @ 719/583-6204 or visit www.pueblosheriff.com for more details.
March 14, 2013
March 14, 2013:Shortly before 3 PM today, deputies responded to the Cloverleaf Mobile Home park on a report of a restraining order violation. A caller reported that 32-year-old Chuck Francis Martinez was restrained from a female family member but they were together at that location. When deputies arrived, they could hear the suspect exit through the back of the residence. Deputies immediatly began to search the area on foot and in patrol vehicles. They also called in a K-9 unit. School District 70 was advised of the situation and placed a precautionary lockdown on Avondale Elementary. Additionally, the radio interoperability program – School Safe, was activated by the 911 Center. School Safe allows school and district staff to communicate directly with law enforcement during a crisis.
Deputies continued to search for over an hour and were in the residence at Cloverleaf when the suspect called and asked to speak with a deputy. Mr. Martinez said he wished to turn himself in and said he could see a Colorado State Trooper from where he was standing. He was taken into custody at 4:45 PM without incident. Avondale Elementary School lifted the lockdown approximately 5 minutes later. When Martinez made contact with the Trooper he was cold and wet. Martinez said he tried to avoid law enforcement by swimming in “the ditch”. He was transported to a local hospital for evaluation and possible treatment for hypothermia.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor believes the school should be credited for acting so quickly and in the best interest of the children. “School Safe gives us an open line of radio communication within the school. We are able to hear inside the school in real time and they can hear the deputies on the streets. When we had the suspect in custody, they knew the same time our communications center knew. We are very proud of our partnership with the school district and our ability to utilize this technology.”
Martinez will be booked on Restraining Order Violation, Violation of Bail Bond Conditions, and Eluding.
March 10, 2013
March 10, 2013: Just before 2 pm on Sunday, March 10th, a 9 year old girl was killed when she was hit by a truck in the community of Rye, CO. The girl was with family gathering wood on private property and was asked to retrieve the family dog. The driver of the truck pulled the truck forward in the deep snow and heard a dog “yelp”. He exited the vehicle and found the girl unconscious on the ground. The parties on scene attempted CPR and Flight for Life was dispatched, but the girl was pronounced deceased by paramedics at the scene.
The name of the driver and the girl will not be released at this time. No arrests are expected, and alcohol is not a factor in this accident.
“This is such a heartbreaking tragedy. I extend my most sincere sympathy to this family.” said Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor, who lives in the area and responded to the accident.
March 7, 2013
March 7, 2013: On Wednesday, March 6th, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Detention deputies gathered intelligence regarding an attempt to smuggle contraband into the Pueblo County Jail. Deputies on duty received information that a female, later identified as 31 year old Sarah Wolfe was conspiring to hide narcotics in a detention lobby bathroom. Investigations reveal that she agreed to do so at the request of 34 year old Guy Acosta, who was already an inmate in the facility. Ms. Wolfe had arranged for a third person, 47 year old Ronald Boyken to place narcotics in the men’s bathroom.
Operating tactically, deputies searched the restroom to ensure there were no narcotics. Deputies then waited for Sarah. She arrived with Mr Boyken. Boyken walked to the jail window and requested the restroom key. He went into the men’s restroom while Wolfe remained in the facility hallway. When Boyken left the restroom, deputies immediately moved in and searched the restroom again while another deputy followed the couple to their car. Deputies discovered narcotics inside the restroom and radioed to their peers outside who arrested Mr. Boyken. Ms. Wolfe was arrested at another location on March 7th, 2013.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor believes the arrest sends a clear message. “We are constantly gathering Intel that keeps contraband from the facility, shuts down assaults before they happen, and much more. We have custody of over 600 people today, all charged with a crime. Every day we work to keep them safe, even from themselves. It is a mistake for inmates to think they can get away with this behavior but an even bigger mistake for their friends outside the jail to help them.”
Each suspect is being held on a $50,000 bond for this incident.
Charges are as follows:
Ronald Boyken – Three Felony charges Unlawful Distribution, Sale or Possession
Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance
Introduction of Contraband
Sarah Wolfe Felony-Criminal Conspiracy, Unlawful Distribution, Sale, or Possession
Misdemeanor Criminal Conspiracy, Introduction of Contraband.
Guy Acosta, who was already in custody on a felony contempt warrant, has been charged with three felonies:
Unlawful Distribution, Sale or Possession
Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance
Introduction of Contraband