(Top left: Anaili Garcia Toledo, Top Right: Eladio Hernandez Ponce; Bottom left: Elio Hernandez Delgado)
Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested three people Wednesday, April 13, 2016, on felony warrants in connection with an illegal marijuana grow operation discovered last week at a home in South Pueblo County.
Elio Hernandez Delg ado, 45; Eladio Hernandez Ponce, 36, and Anaili Garcia Toledo, 32, were served with the warrants at the home where they had been living at 6801 Greenhorn Creek Drive in the Hatchett Ranch area. The three were taken into custody without incident. They each face charges of cultivation of marijuana 18-18-406 (3) (a).
The arrest warrants were issued for Hernandez Delgado, Hernandez Ponce and Garcia Toledo on Tuesday in connection with the seizure of 180 marijuana plants found growing at 6801 Greenhorn Creek Drive. All three individuals are originally from Cuba and had recently been living in Florida, before moving to Colorado. One of the residents had purchased the home in February.
Acting on a tip about a possible illegal grow at the home, detectives executed a search warrant on April 5, and found the marijuana plants in various stages of growth, along with extravagant lighting systems, numerous planting supplies and construction materials that detectives believed were going to be used to expand the grow operation.
When contacted last week, the residents told detectives they were operating a medical marijuana grow but had no paperwork to substantiate that claim.
Twelve people, all from Florida, have been arrested in seven separate illegal marijuana grow operations uncovered by Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office since March 30. Five of the individuals arrested are originally from Cuba.
April 11, 2016
Austin Shelman Mitchell Elfert
Two Pueblo West men were arrested Friday, April 8, 2016, after one of them used a social media website to broker a deal to sell LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) to an undercover detective from the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations/Narcotics unit.
Acting on a Crimestoppers tip, the undercover detective contacted Mitchell Elfert, 19, via his social media website, where he was advertising the sale of “tabz” of LSD at “5 for $20.” The website also advertised the sale of Ecstasy and marijuana. The detective asked Elfert to meet at an undisclosed site where the officer planned to purchase 100 tabs of LSD. Elfert arrived at the pre-arranged site with a friend, who had driven him to that location.
Elfert met with the detective and told him he buys LSD from “the deep web”, which Elfert described as an online site. He said the tabs are delivered to him by U.S. Mail. Elfert admitted to the detective he also sells marijuana and asked the detective if he had any marijuana he could buy from him because he was having a hard time finding some in Pueblo West.
Elfert sold the detective 50 tabs or .65 ounces of LSD for $200. Once the transaction was completed, Elfert and the driver of the vehicle, Austin Shelman, 18, were taken into custody. As the detective searched Elfert for any other contraband, he admitted he had more “stuff” in the back seat of the car. The detective spoke with Shelman, who agreed to allow a search of his vehicle. Seven tabs of LSD and some individually wrapped bags of marijuana packaged for sale were found in the vehicle. Shelman told the detective Elfert asked him for a ride to sell some LSD. Shelman said he frequently drives Elfert to sell LSD and marijuana. He said Elfert would give him gas money in exchange for the rides.
Elfert was arrested on the following felony drug charges:
Possession with Intent to Distribution of a Schedule I Substance (LSD) 18-18-405 (1), (2), © (I) (A); Distribution of a Schedule I Substance (LSD) 18-18-405 (1), (2), (c), (I) (A)
Possession Schedule I (LSD) 18-18-403.5 (1) (2) (a);
Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana 18-18-406
Shelman was arrested on the following felony drug charges:
Distribution of a Schedule I Controlled Substance 18-18-405 (1) (2) (c) (I) (A);
Conspiracy to Distribute a Schedule I Controlled Substance 18-2-201.
April 3, 2016
The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a series of brush fires that were intentionally set Saturday afternoon, April 2, 2016, near Lake Pueblo State Park and along a 10-mile stretch of Highway 96 West.
Firefighters from the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Wildland Fire unit were dispatched to a brush fire in the Rush Creek Wildlife Area in the Lake Pueblo State Park at about 4:45 p.m. While crews were responding to that incident, calls came in for at least five other small fires burning in the same area along Highway 96 West from Mile Marker 35 and Mile Marker 45.
A witness reported seeing a male suspect exiting a vehicle and intentionally setting fires along the highway. Sheriff’s Deputies spotted the male driving near the entrance to Lake Pueblo State Park and initiated a traffic stop. The male was taken into custody and is being questioned in connection with the fires. A second suspect is being sought in connection with the fires.
Pueblo County Emergency Services Bureau Chief Mark Mears said there were nine separate fires started, consuming a total of 15 acres of grassland. Mears said the fires ranged from a small roadside fires that extinguished themselves to a few fires that burned from 3 to 4 acres each. The fires burned brush on both state land and private property. No structures were threatened.
PCSO received assistance in fighting the fires from West Park Fire, Red Creek Springs Fire and Wetmore Fire units.
All the fires were contained by about 8 p.m. Crews are still on scene mopping up hot spots.
March 3, 2016
Pueblo, CO: Erroneous and speculative information has been circulating through unedited social media sites regarding the death of a 41-year-old male, who had previously been in custody in the Pueblo County Jail. The male was no longer in custody at the time of his death.
While incarcerated the male had a medical emergency and was transferred as soon as practical to a local hospital. While in the local hospital, a judge granted the male a PR bond and released him from the custody of Pueblo County. The male was later transferred to a Denver area Hospital where he died.
A forensic autopsy was requested by the sheriff and the acting coroner. All aspects of a proper evaluation of the facts surrounding the death of the male have been and will continue to be performed by members of the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office.
The Pueblo County Detention Facility is accredited through the American Correctional Association, and the detention medical unit is accredited with the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare.
The evaluation of the death of the male is ongoing.
October 8, 2015
Pueblo, CO – At approximately 9:00 am on Wednesday Oct. 7, the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office received information on a possible intruder inside Pueblo County High School. The intruder was reported as a female, in a hallway located inside the school, wearing a gas mask and trench coat style jacket.
The school’s administration was quick to act and placed the school on lockdown for the safety and security of the students and staff. PCSO patrol units were on scene in approximately two minutes. The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was training in the area and was activated for this event. They arrived on scene within six minutes of the original call. The School Safe System was activated, which opens a direct line of communication between school administrators, law enforcement, and emergency medical services.
Pueblo County high school staff took the female, later identified as a current student, into custody. The school remained on lockdown while the PCSO SWAT team conducted a slow clearing of the building to ensure the safety and security of the students and staff.
After further investigation it was found the female had mentioned she wanted to cause chaos at the High School. No weapons or other hazards were found in the building or on the suspect.
“We always take the highest precautions when the safety of our students is possibly compromised. They are our number one priority” said Greg Keasling, Director of Student Services for Pueblo School District 70.
Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor said, “We could have easily viewed this event as a Halloween prank, however we do not take the safety of our youth or the staff who cares for them for granted. Our deputies train consistently with District 70 staff for events like this. As a team, we responded quickly and effectively to resolve this situation without incident.”
The lockdown was lifted at approximately 10:45 and normal school activity was resumed.
The name of the student will not be released due to her being a juvenile. The following charges were referred to the District Attorney’s Office: 18-9-109(1) Interference with staff, faculty or student of educational institutions.
August 7, 2015
Aug. 7, 2015 – An investigation into the illegal sale of marijuana to juveniles began late July, 2015. Detectives from the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations & Narcotics (S.I.N.) Unit received tips of marijuana being sold to juveniles near the mobile home community in Pueblo West.
During the investigation, detectives observed numerous vehicles arrive to an address in the 200 block of E. Homer Dr. Occupants of the vehicles would go into the home, return to the vehicle and leave within minutes of arriving.
On Aug. 6, 2015, Sheriff’s deputies and detectives contacted two juvenile occupants of a vehicle which had left the residence. After speaking with the juveniles, detectives were able to corroborate the tips they had been investigating. Based on this information and previously gathered evidence, a search warrant was obtained. Upon executing the search warrant of the residence contact was made with the homeowner, John McBride (52 yo, male) who was taken into custody for the following charges:
1: CRS 18-18-406(7)(a) Distribution of Marijuana to a minor DF4
2: CRS 18-6-701 Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor F4
3: CRS 18-8-103 Resisting Arrest 2M
4: CRS 18-18-407(1)(d)(II) Special Offender SE
Approximately six (6) ounces of dried marijuana material, marijuana concentrate, and hashish were seized, along with 1 handgun, 2 shotguns and 1 rifle. Detectives noted large quantities of small denomination currency, which they believe is common to the distribution of narcotics, adding up to approximately $7,500.00 in cash.
“Although recreational marijuana use has been legalized in Colorado, the personal growing and/or selling of marijuana through unregulated supply is illegal and can create easy access to individuals and juveniles who do not or could not buy recreational marijuana through legal means.” Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor said.
June 8, 2015
Pueblo, CO: A team from the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office has taken a burglar off the street. The suspect, 20-year-old Travis Maikke, was taken into custody Friday evening on a $100,000 warrant. He is charged with committing a string of burglaries in the Pueblo West area. The Sheriff’s Office continues to search for another person associated with the burglaries. He has been identified as 20-year-old Samuel Joaquin Torres. Torres has outstanding warrants for his arrest unassociated with these crimes.
A search of a residence on San Pedro connected to the two men yielded the recovery of multiple stolen items such as two guns, a laptop, jewelry, a 55” television, and other items. These items will be cataloged as evidence and returned to their original owners.
Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor praised the coordinated effort of the patrol deputies and detectives for their work in this case. “These two are suspects in multiple burglaries and match the description of individuals who have cased several other homes in Pueblo West, so our men and women, working together, stopped many others from being victimized by these individuals” says Taylor.
Sheriff Taylor reminds the public to lock-up their valuables, especially firearms, to keep doors and windows locked, and to report any suspicious activity to the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone with information on Torres’ whereabouts or details on these burglaries is asked to contact Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office at 583-6250 or Pueblo Crimestoppers at 543-STOP.
February 18, 2015
February 18, 2015: At 0830 this morning, during a routine civil process serving, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Deputies discovered what was later confirmed as improvised explosive devices inside a home at the 400 block of Peppertree Way. The resident of the home sat outside while movers began the process of emptying the property after the bank filed for restitution of the home. While overseeing the process, movers saw what they believed to be a “Molotov Cocktail”, a container filled with flammable liquid with a rag attached to the top, and several other suspicious devices. Sheriff’s deputies confirmed what movers suspected and went door to door evacuating the surrounding homes. Nine residences in total were evacuated for approximately two hours this morning while the Pueblo Metro Bomb Unit conducting their search.
After deputies arrived, the resident left saying he was going to breakfast with his children. He was located at a family home a short time later. While speaking to detectives the man indicated there were additional explosive devices that hadn’t been discovered in the initial or secondary searches. Ultimately, thirteen different devices were removed from the home and are still being examined by bomb specialists. The devices all appear homemade and of those tested so far, all were found to contain explosive material capable of significant property damage and personal injury.
Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agency is on hand and will be assisting in the investigation.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor said while initial charges will be local, additional federal charges will likely follow, “These are very dangerous devices and not easy to spot” said Taylor. “Ensuring that our deputies know what to watch for, having our own certified bomb technicians and the Metro Bomb Squad here in Pueblo, all make these investigations quicker and much safer.”
39-year-old Larry Maloney has been taken into custody. He faces felony child abuse, reckless endangerment, and several counts of possession/use of an explosive device.
February 13, 2015
February 13, 2015: Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) detectives arrested 26 year old Juan Hernandez-Bartolome of the 1800 Block of Santa Fe Dr. on charges of Child Abuse Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury. Juan was booked into Pueblo County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
On 02-12-15 Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to Parkview Hospital regarding a 9 week old baby with serious injury. The baby was immediately taken to Memorial Hospital where the child remains.. This incident occurred in the 1800 block of Santa Fe Drive.
Detectives investigated the case throughout the night and into the following day. Detectives were able to determine the 9 week old boy was in the custody of Juan, who is the child’s father when the injuries occurred. Detectives are still investigating this case. No other children were in the home.
January 26, 2015
January 26, 2015: The names of two suspects in Pueblo’s officer involved shooting near Praise Assembly yesterday are being confirmed as 26-year-old Orlando Lopez and 22-year-old Roberto Rodriquez-Garcia.
Garcia was taken into custody for Menacing and Burglary after a short pursuit. Lopez fled from the vehicle into the prairies near the church. Lopez was fatally wounded during the incident.
Because the event involved the firing of weapons by law enforcement, the 10th Judicial District Critical Incident Team (CIT) was immediately activated and it’s members responded to the scene. The CIT purpose is to objectively investigate officer involved incidents that result in death. Agencies in the CIT include Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, Pueblo County District Attorney’s Office, Colorado Bureau of Investigation and Pueblo Police Department. The CIT has been able to substantiate witness statements that Lopez fired his weapon at approaching law enforcement officers and that multiple officers returned fire. The investigation is a large collaborative effort and is ongoing.
Body and dashboard cameras captured the incident; all of the footage is being handled as evidence. Additionally, interviews with witnesses, law enforcement, and other parties with information regarding the shooting or the home invasion leading up to the shooting are ongoing.
The crime scene is currently being processed and remains secured until investigators are certain all evidence is collected. The Pueblo regional mobile command unit was utilized overnight but has been released from the scene.
Any witnesses or individuals with information related to this case can contact the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office at 719/583-6250.