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February 11, 2018
Three Arrested after Eluding Deputies, Ramming into Patrol Vehicle


Austin Chavez Ray Bachicha Janelle Vasquez

Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested three people Friday night in Pueblo West following an incident that involved a short vehicle pursuit that ended with the suspect vehicle ramming into a patrol car.

Deputies responded to the area of the Sonic Drive-In, 69 S. Dunlap Drive, at about 5:25 p.m. after an individual reported the occupants of a white vehicle parked in spot at the restaurant were acting suspicious. The witness reported seeing the occupants rummaging through items that appeared to be stolen goods that were in the trunk of the vehicle.

While en route to the call, a deputy saw a vehicle in the Walmart parking lot, 78 N. McCulloch Blvd. that matched the description of the suspicious vehicle. As the deputy drove up to the vehicle, which had three occupants, the driver drove off and went out of the parking lot going east on Industrial Boulevard. The deputy followed the vehicle, which was reportedly driving recklessly and at a high-rate of speed, and attempted to stop it. The driver refused to stop and turned into a parking lot in the 700 block of East Industrial Boulevard.

Deputies followed the vehicle to the parking lot. A deputy blocked the exit of the lot with his vehicle to prevent the driver, later identified as Austin Chavez, 23, from leaving. Chavez attempted to drive out of the parking lot and rammed into the driver’s side of the patrol vehicle. Chavez then got out of the car and ran but was apprehended a short time later. No one was injured in the incident.

The two passengers identified as Ray Bachicha, 23; and Janelle Vasquez, 22, remained in the vehicle and were immediately taken into custody. While doing a routine pat search of Vasquez after she was arrested, deputies found suspected drugs in her possession. Chavez told deputies that he was following directions and orders from Bachicha and that is why he did not stop for deputies.

Chavez was arrested for assault on a peace officer, vehicular eluding and reckless driving. Bachicha was arrested for complicity to commit second-degree assault on a peace officer, complicity to commit vehicular eluding, criminal solicitation to commit vehicular eluding and criminal solicitation to commit second-degree assault. Vasquez was arrested for complicity to commit second-degree assault on a peace officer, complicity to commit vehicular eluding, introduction of contraband and possession of contraband. Chavez, Bachicha and Vasquez were all booked into Pueblo County Jail.

Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor credits the calling in of suspicious activity by an alert citizen as the reason his deputies were able to apprehend these three suspects so quickly.

An investigation is ongoing.

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February 1, 2018
Alert Citizens Aid Deputies in Locating Suspects in Stolen Vehicle

Franklin Pangelina Alix Trujillo

Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested two people this afternoon in connection with a stolen vehicle after two alert witnesses notified authorities of the vehicle’s whereabouts.

Deputies were dispatched at 12:15 p.m. to Walmart, 78 N. McCulloch Boulevard, after a citizen said he saw a 2002 GMC Envoy he recognized as being reported stolen in Pueblo this morning. The witness reported seeing the vehicle parked in the lot with a male attempting to remove a sticker from the vehicle window.

When deputies arrived, they saw the man, later identified as Franklin Pangelina, 26, and a woman, identified as Alix Trujillo, 22, sitting in the vehicle. Two deputies attempted to block the suspect vehicle in with their patrol cars when Pangelina put the Envoy in reverse and rammed a patrol car before driving out of the lot. The deputy was uninjured.

Pangelina drove eastbound on Industrial Boulevard, where deputies responding to the incident saw the vehicle and attempted to stop it. Pangelina failed to stop and continued driving at a high rate of speed. Deputies ended the pursuit as Pangelina approached U.S. Highway 50. The vehicle was last seen going eastbound on U.S. 50 toward Pueblo.

Another citizen, who reported seeing a GMC Envoy driving erratically, followed it into Pueblo and alerted law enforcement of its whereabouts. The witness saw the vehicle stop near the intersection of 29th Street and Baltimore Avenue, where a man and a woman got out and ran.

A short time later, deputies apprehended Trujillo in the area where the vehicle was abandoned. Deputies patrolling nearby apprehended Pangelina a few blocks away. Both suspects were taken into custody.

Pangelina was arrested for second-degree motor vehicle theft, vehicular eluding, reckless driving, a protection order violation and several felony warrants. Trujillo was arrested for second-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft and possession of a controlled substance. Both Pangelina and Trujillo were booked into Pueblo County Jail.


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January 31, 2018
Sheriff Honors Outstanding Employees, Citizens at Annual Banquet

Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor honored several employees, units and local citizens for outstanding service and dedication to the office during the past year at the 12th annual Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Awards Banquet held Friday night at Pueblo Community College.

“I am proud of the outstanding effort all our employees put forth each day for the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor. “But tonight I want to recognize several of our exceptional employees, who have demonstrated through their character, professionalism and actions, a commitment to our motto “Service Over Self.” I am also proud to honor several remarkable citizens, who through their willingness to take action, help make Pueblo County a better place to live.”

Sheriff Taylor presented the following awards Friday night:

Law Enforcement Officer of the Year: Lieutenant David Black, a veteran patrol deputy, was honored for his concern for the well-being of his deputies, detention staff and citizens of Pueblo County. He was noted for instilling a caring attitude toward both patrol and detention deputies. Lt. Black can routinely be found at the jail developing rapport with the leadership and a comradery with the deputies. His service to the public is described as respectful and compassionate, evidence of his action last year by standing at attention to honor a war veteran as his body was carried off by the coroner.

Detention Officer of the Year: Sergeant Jeremy Cardona is honored as a “true professional” for his ability to have a positive impact on everyone he interacts with. Cardona was recognized for having a strong work ethic, being thorough, dependable and a respected mentor and trainer for new detention deputies. Cardona is a talented artist who annually creates holiday artwork in the jail for the enjoyment of employees and inmates alike.

Emergency Services Member of the Year: Jamie Reigenborn is a veteran communications officer in the Pueblo County Sheriff’s 911 Communication Center. She was noted for being reliable, calm, focused and dedicated to her duties. Reigenborn is a great at multi-tasking and is the person to trust for timely and accurate information during an incident or emergency.

Non-Uniformed Member of the Year: Michelle Zamora, a criminal justice records technician is the court liaison in the jail intake, where she has been instrumental in improving the quality of work produced on bonds and other matters related to the courts. She was recognized for dependability, consistently performing her job duties at a high quality and having a strong work ethic.

Volunteer of the Year: Daryl Espinoza, a volunteer with the Emergency Services Bureau, accumulated more than 325 volunteer hours in 2017. In addition to being a member of all the ESB volunteer teams, Espinoza regularly attends trainings, exercises and reports to activations in the Emergency Operations Center. He was noted for being reliable and always willing to help while serving as an inspiration to other volunteers.

Unit Meritorious
Detention Training Officers – The 27 members of the detention training unit are responsible for training new detention deputies and criminal justice record technicians. The eight-week training program consists of more than 320 hours of work in officer safety, facility security, use of force, report writing, communication, time management and policy and procedure. The training officers recognized were: Deputies Anthony Gonzales, Kenneth DeLeon, Michael Chitwood, Lilian Gardner, David Spicer, Michael Wagner, Robert Vigil, Scott Moore, Jacob Bookout, Nicholas Cardinal, Raquel Marquez, Monica Sosa, Rachael Villarreal, Tyler Owens, Christine Spencer, Marisa Singleton, Wellington Duplessis, Sheryld Lamas, Steven Chavez, Michael Gallardo, Raquel Griego, CJRT Craig Espinoza, Wayne Wells, Michelle Arellano, Christopher Duarte, Lalani Valle and Phyllis Montoya.

Investigations Unit – In 2017, the investigations unit continued working two homicide investigations from 2016, including following up on additional leads, executing multiple search warrants and examining hundreds of pages of social media documents. The unit worked shorthanded after losing three key members to promotion, reassignment and retirement, but was still able to maintain a demanding work load to include the investigation of two officer-involved shootings, an in-custody death, a homicide/suicide, a forgery case involving more than 50 victims and many other serious crimes. The members of the unit are Sergeant Mike Beery, Sergeant Allen Brooks, Captain Don Leach, Detectives Anthony Colletti, Talby Velasco, Charles Roldan, JC Williams, Melissa Rohrich, Sergeant Caitlin Howard, Gregory Drake, Victor Herrera, David Butterfield, Neal Robinson, CJRT Julie (Liz) Marez and Administrative Assistant Teri Niederstadt.

Citizens of the Year: Marty Rahl, Dawn Cortese and Brooke Douglas. Rahl and Douglas were recognized for their alertness and willingness to contact the Sheriff’s Office when they noticed suspicious activity. The reporting of the activity assisted Sheriff’s Office in identifying and apprehending criminals in two separate and unrelated incidents. Cortese was honored for her quick-thinking and her actions in saving the life of an individual after a car fell on him.

Sheriff Taylor also awarded several Commendation awards for outstanding service on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office. Those receiving commendation awards were Jill Hogarth and Marco Macaluso; Pueblo County Commissioner Garrison Ortiz and Captain Shelley Bryant and the administrative team of Shane Ammeter, Christopher Carter, Shawnna Clementi, Corrine Cordova, Shonna Cruz-Gutierrez, Becky Dengler, Lanisha Gomez, Connie Gutierrez, Tammy Hart, Sherri Herrera, Desirae Maldonado, Reyes Martinez, Kathy Mora, Jennifer Morales, JaNyce Neiberger, Ben Parson, Mary Peralta, Gayle Perez, Jennifer Phillips, Ashton Rinker, Yvette Robinson, Victoria Siguenza, Alyssa Uhernik, Kiki Valle, Brenda Vigil, Andrew Ward and Michelle Zamora.



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Sheriff Awards Medal of Valor to Three Deputies

Robert GarbisoCharles McWhorterCharles Roldan

Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor awarded Deputies Robert Garbiso, Charles Roldan and Charles McWhorter with the Medal of Valor at the 12th annual Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Awards Banquet held Friday night at Pueblo Community College.

The Medal of Valor is law enforcement’s highest award and is presented for an act of outstanding bravery or heroism performed with selflessness, courage and devotion to duty.

“The actions of these deputies were truly heroic. They acted without regard for their own safety while protecting their fellow deputies and the citizens of Pueblo County,” said Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor. “I am honored and proud to award them with the distinguished Medal of Valor for their exceptional courage, selflessness and dedication to serving this community.”

Deputy Garbiso was praised for his actions on March 3, 2017, to disarm an inmate who had taken a Taser from another deputy during a daring escape attempt at the Pueblo County Jail. Garbiso, who heard the scuffle between the deputy and the inmate, was attempting to stop the escape when the inmate shot him with the Taser. Despite being hit with the Taser prongs, Garbiso still managed to gain control of the inmate and take him into custody. Garbiso’s actions thwarted the escape attempt as well as prevented this inmate from harming other jail personnel or inmates.

Detective Roldan and Deputy McWhorter were recognized for their bravery on the night of August 21, 2017, while attempting to apprehend a bank robbery suspect at a mobile home in Colorado City. Roldan and McWhorter received information the suspect in the robbery of the Ent Credit Union in Rye was at a residence on Applewood Drive. When the two deputies arrived at the home, they were informed the suspect was in a bedroom and both cautiously entered the residence. The deputies made their way to the bedroom where they confronted the suspect, who pulled out a Derringer-type handgun and pointed it at one of the deputies. Both deputies fired their weapon stopping the suspect from harming them, the other residents of the home and citizens of Pueblo County.

A special plaque with photos and the citations highlighting the heroic actions of each of the deputies will be placed permanently in the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Hall of Valor, located on the first floor of the Emergency Services Center, 101 W. 10th Street.

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January 17, 2018
Deputies Apprehend Two Wanted Individuals

Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies and Narcotics Detectives apprehended two wanted individuals at a Colorado City gas station after they fled from parole officers and the Colorado State Patrol Tuesday afternoon.

At about 2 p.m., Sheriff’s Communication Officers were notified that Colorado Department of Corrections Parole Officers were following a vehicle southbound on Interstate 25, which they believed had an individual who was wanted on an escape warrant. Parole officers asked for assistance in stopping the vehicle.

The Colorado State Patrol located the vehicle and attempted to stop it on southbound I-25 at about Mile Marker 97. The driver of the vehicle refused to stop. The State Patrol terminated the pursuit but the parole officers continued to follow the vehicle for approximately six more miles before they stopped following it.

At approximately 2:45 p.m., Pueblo County Sheriff’s Communications Officers received a call from an individual at Fast Break Liquor in Colorado City reporting a smoking vehicle with blown tires in the parking lot. Witnesses reported seeing two individuals get out of the vehicle and run toward a nearby hotel.

A sheriff’s lieutenant and several deputies responded to the area to look for the fugitive. A reverse 9-1-1 call went out to residents in the Colorado City area alerting them that law enforcement was searching for a wanted suspect. Sheriff’s narcotics detectives and a Sheriff’s K-9 also assisted in the search.

At approximately 4:10 p.m., a citizen contacted deputies and told them he had given a man and a woman a ride to the nearby Diamond Shamrock. Deputies and narcotics detectives responded to the Diamond Shamrock, where they quickly located and apprehended Alexis Lopez, 23, and Andrew Sedillo, 30. Lopez was wanted by Department of Corrections on felony escape warrant. Sedillo had an outstanding warrant from California. Suspected drugs and a firearm were recovered from the vehicle. Parole officers took custody of Lopez and Sedillo.

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September 13, 2017
Pueblo West Man Arrested After Firing Several Shots at Deputies, Nearby Residences

weapons recovered

The swift response and quick actions by Pueblo County Sheriff’s deputies led to the early morning arrest of a Pueblo West man, who fired shots at deputies and nearby residences causing more than $10,000 in damages. No one was injured in the incident.

Benjamin Chavez, 43, was arrested for three counts of attempted first-degree murder on a peace officer, attempted first-degree murder, criminal attempt, illegal discharge of a firearm, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

“This easily could’ve had a very different outcome due to the reckless disregard this suspect had by indiscriminately shooting in a residential area and at our deputies” said Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor. “I commend the deputies for their quick thinking and putting their active-shooter training to use to get this resolved in a peaceful manner.”

Deputies responded to the area of Rustic Drive and N. Canvas Drive at about 3 a.m., shortly after being dispatched on a report of shots fired. When deputies arrived, they spoke to a witness who said he was awakened by the sound of gunshots. The witnesses said when he went outside his home to investigate where the shots were coming from, he heard a shot hit the ground near him. The witness said he then ran back inside his home.

As the two deputies were investigating the incident, they heard multiple gunshots and heard and saw evidence of several rounds hitting the ground near them. The deputies sought cover behind a structure in the 500 block of N. Canvas Drive, where they subsequently heard another estimated 15 to 20 more shots fired. The deputies were able to determine the shots were coming from the residence in the 1100 block of Rustic Drive.

The Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was called out and nearby residents were notified for safety reasons via a reverse 911 call of the police action in the area. Pueblo County School District 70 officials also were notified due to school bus routes being in the vicinity of the incident. After a brief standoff, Chavez walked out of the yard at about 5 a.m. and was taken into custody without incident. He was the only resident in the home.

Deputies later executed a search warrant on the property and found nine guns, including two assault rifles, and various types of ammunition in locations throughout the home and yard. Deputies also discovered two guns near a residential greenhouse that contained numerous marijuana plants.

In searching the surrounding area, deputies found multiple shell casings in the backyard of Chavez’s home. There also was damage discovered to a nearby home and several vehicles in the area, all believed to have been caused by the gunshots. The damage has been estimated at $10,900.

The investigation is ongoing.



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September 1, 2017
Man Arrested for Attempted Murder after Firing Shot at His Wife


Jeffrey Mass

                   Jeffrey Mass

Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested a 69-year-old man Thursday night for attempted murder after he fired a gunshot at his wife at their home in western Pueblo County.

Deputies responded to the home in the 700 block of Newton Road in the Red Creek Ranch area at about 5 p.m. on a welfare check. While en route to the call, deputies learned the suspect, identified as Jeffrey T. Mass, had now fired a shot at his wife. The woman was not injured.

The victim told deputies she had just returned to the home and went to speak with Mass, who was sitting in his truck parked near a barn on the property. She said as she walked toward the truck, Mass pointed a gun out the window of the truck and fired a shot toward her. The woman was not hit. The victim said Mass then told her if she walked any closer to him, he was going to shoot her in the head. The victim said she ran into the barn and when she heard the truck drive away, she ran into the home, locked the doors and called the Sheriff’s Office.

When deputies arrived, they found Mass, who was now driving an SUV, on the property. Deputies gave verbal orders for Mass to stop the vehicle and show his hands. Mass complied with the deputies’ orders, but when a deputy opened the vehicle door, Mass grabbed the steering wheel and refused to let go. Deputies were finally able to get him out of the vehicle and into custody. Deputies recovered a loaded handgun and a loaded semi-automatic rifle in the truck.

Mass was arrested for attempted second-degree murder, menacing and domestic violence. He was booked into the Pueblo County jail.

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Deputies Find Drugs on Burglary Suspect

Jeffrey Tomlinson

                 Jeffrey Tomlinson

A Florence man arrested Wednesday by Pueblo County Sheriff’s deputies for attempted burglary was found in possession of more than 42 grams of suspected methamphetamine.

Deputies responded to the 5600 block of Colorado 96 at about 6:40 p.m. on report of a suspicious person who matched the description of man seen caught burglarizing a home in the area. When deputies arrived, they contacted the man, later identified as Jeffrey Tomlinson, 47, on private property and informed him that he was trespassing.

Tomlinson told deputies he had stopped to ask if the homeowner had an apartment for rent. When deputies started to question him about the burglary that occurred in the area, Tomlinson took off running, going down some stairs and a hill. One of the deputies deployed a Taser, but Tomlinson continued to run. Another deputy, who was chasing Tomlinson on foot, apprehended the suspect just as he jumped off a 4-foot-high wall. The deputy and Tomlinson landed on a driveway below the wall, where Tomlinson continued to struggle with the deputy until he was taken into custody.

While conducting a pat search of Tomlinson, deputies found in his possession 42.8 grams of suspected methamphetamine and two glass pipes.

A witness identified Tomlinson as the person seen inside the garage of a nearby residence. Tomlinson is suspected of taking items from the garage and putting them outside the building to take at a later time. All items taken from the garage were recovered.

Tomlinson and the deputy suffered minor injuries in the incident. Tomlinson was arrested for attempted second-degree burglary and possession of a controlled substance. He was booked into Pueblo County jail.

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August 7, 2017
Pueblo County Sheriff’s SWAT assists Baca County on Barricaded Subject

On Wednesday evening, the Baca County Sheriff’s Office, was faced with a serious situation. A man wanted for a felony, was inside his home, threatening officers and refusing to come out of the house. Faced with the situation for several hours and limited staffing in their small community, Baca County Sheriff Dave Campbell looked to his neighbor, Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor for additional resources.

At the direction of Sheriff Taylor, the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team assembled and responded to the home of the suspect. The nearly three-hour drive to bring the manpower and equipment was part of the regional response philosophy long held by Sheriff Taylor.

Once on scene, tactical members worked alongside the Baca County Sheriff, Undersheriff, and deputies. At approximately midnight, the man voluntarily walked out of the house and was taken into custody.

Baca County Undersheriff Chris Griffin, credits the mutual aid response with the peaceful resolution, “The equipment and personnel that our partners in Pueblo County brought with them was a huge asset,” said Griffin, “if they hadn’t responded I doubt it would have gone as good as it did.”

The recently acquired Pueblo County SWAT vehicle was purchased in part, with Homeland Security dollars. When the grant money was requested Sheriff Taylor looked forward to this type of regional support becoming part of the vehicle’s mission, “In southeastern Colorado, we are small communities with limited manpower and money. The ability to pull regional resources together to get things done has to be the standard.”

The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team is comprised of Sheriff’s Office members and volunteers who specialize in strategic tactics, weapons, negotiations, and medical care in critical situations.

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July 31, 2017
County Resident Openly Growing Marijuana is Arrested

Shives_booking photo

Shortly after 1 p.m. Friday, July 28, an anonymous caller reported what appeared to be dozens of marijuana plants growing in plain sight at the 300 block of 25th Lane. Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies responded and confirmed the plants were marijuana and that the resident appeared to be in violation of CRS 18-18-406 (3) A.I. Cultivation of Marijuana a Class 3 Felony.
Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office detectives responded to the scene where 60-year-old Brian Shives told detectives he was growing as a “caregiver” but wasn’t able to provide paperwork supporting his claim. Detectives counted more than 85 plants on the property, well over the allotted number.
After obtaining a search warrant, the Sheriff’s office confiscated the majority of the plants. Once inside the home, detectives discovered evidence of Butane Hash Oil (BHO) manufacturing.
Shives was taken into custody and will be charged with Drug Felony 3, Cultivation of marijuana and Drug Felony 1, Manufacturing Hash Oil.


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