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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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Quick Response Reunites Victims with Personal Items

A woman in the 200 block of Del Ray Drive in Pueblo West called Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office 911 Center shortly after 3 am to report a door open and wallet missing from a car that was parked inside her garage. PCSO deputies heading to the address noticed a teen walking away from the area and contacted him. The juvenile was carrying the woman’s wallet, a prescription bottle for a different neighborhood resident, and several other items.
The suspect admitted to the deputies that he had snuck out of his home to visit a friend. While walking to his friends house he tried opening the doors to different automobiles along the way. If they were unlocked, he took the things he wanted.
Law Enforcement Bureau Chief David J. Lucero knows thefts like these can often be prevented, “Theft from a vehicle is most often a crime of opportunity. Citizens should always keep their car doors locked and never leave money or other items in plain sight. “It is like leaving bait on a hook.”Lucero said the deputy’s quick response and alertness meant a swift resolution to the incident.

The juvenile and his mother cooperated with deputies and helped return any stolen items to the rightful owner. Deputies released the juvenile to the custody of his mother. The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office will be referring charges to the District Attorney’s Office. Since the prescription drug recovered was an opiod synthetic, the juvenile could be charged with theft and felony possession of a narcotic.





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May 6, 2017
Man Arrested after Threatening Parents with Gun


brian buffington

A 28-year-old man was arrested Friday afternoon after he threatened his parents with a gun when they refused his demands for money.

Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a home in the 23000 block of Iris Road at about 1:30 p.m. on a report of a family disturbance. When deputies arrived, they contacted a 49-year-old man who said his son, identified as Brian Buffington, came to his residence asking for money and said he needed it to pay a debt. The victim said he and his wife refused to give Buffington money. Buffington then entered the home and pulled a gun from his waistband and again demanded money. The victim said he told Buffington to leave the home or he was going to call the police. Buffington walked out of the residence and got into a vehicle, driven by a 21-year-old man, and left the area.

The victim said after calling police, he was able to obtain a license plate number for the vehicle. Pueblo County Sheriff’s communications officers aired the license plate number to sheriff’s deputies who were en route to the call. Deputies located and stopped the vehicle in a parking lot in the 1700 block of Santa Fe Drive. Authorities reported seeing two men run from the vehicle.

Pueblo Police and the Colorado State Patrol assisted deputies in searching for the two men. The driver of the vehicle, identified as Kenneth Higgins was apprehended in the 800 block of Delta Street in Blende. Higgins told deputies he gave Buffington a ride to the home and was not aware of the threats Buffington had made to his parents. Higgins was arrested on several outstanding warrants and booked into the Pueblo County Jail.

Colorado State Patrol Troopers located Buffington in a field just east of the 1800 block of Lacrosse Avenue and took him into custody without incident. Deputies recovered a black handgun that was in the vehicle where Buffington had been sitting. The gun was later determined to be an air-soft gun.

Buffington was arrested on aggravated robbery, a restraining order violation and indecent exposure. He was booked into Pueblo County jail.

An investigation is ongoing.

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March 26, 2017
Alabama Escapee Arrested at Pueblo County Home

Austen Williams Sandra Brooks


Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested a man wanted for escape in Alabama after he was found at a Pueblo County home earlier today.

Deputies met with detectives from Lawrence County Alabama at the Acorn Store, 108 Baxter Road, where they learned that Austen Williams, 28, and Sandra Brooks, 38, who is believed to have helped him escape from a work detail, were staying at a home in the 800 block of Baxter Road. While at the store, Alabama detectives saw Brooks, 38, drive up in a vehicle and go into the store.

Pueblo County Sheriff’s deputies contacted Brooks, who confirmed Williams was at the home on Baxter Road. Brooks was taken into custody for an outstanding warrant. She has been booked into Pueblo County Detention Center on a warrant from Alabama.

Deputies then responded to the suspect’s residence and found Williams outside doing yard work. He was arrested without incident. Williams was booked into the Pueblo County Detention Center on the escape warrant and is awaiting extradition to Alabama.

Williams had been wanted since March 2 after he escaped from a work detail in Lawrence County.

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March 24, 2017
Deputies Arrest Another Two Suspects Attempting to Burglarize Pueblo West Home


Randy J. Mosier

Randy Mosier

Angel Paniagua

Angel Paniagua

For the second time in a week, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies apprehended and arrested individuals attempting to burglarize a Pueblo West home that had been the site of an illegal marijuana grow in 2016.

Earlier today, deputies responded to a home in the 300 block of West Mangrum Drive after an alert neighbor called to report there were individuals at the home, which has been vacant for several months.

When deputies arrived, they found a truck parked at the residence which had been reported stolen out of Pueblo County. As deputies approached the home, one suspect ran from the home on foot and then stole a bicycle and fled the area. The suspect, identified as Randy Mosier, 30, was apprehended by deputies a short time later near the area of Inca Drive and Falcon Drive. Mosier was arrested for first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, second-degree burglary and resisting arrest. He also was arrested on unrelated outstanding warrants.

A second suspect was hiding in the house. A sheriff’s K9 unit sent a dog into the home who was able to locate the suspect, identified as Angel Paniagua, 51. Paniagua was taken into custody without incident. Paniagua was arrested for first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, second-degree burglary, resisting arrest and violation of a restraining order. He also was arrested on unrelated outstanding warrants.

Mosier and Paniagua have been booked into the Pueblo County Detention Center.

Today’s incident is the third time in four months that deputies have interrupted a burglary in progress and arrested suspects at the vacant home.

On March 12, deputies arrested four people at the home after responding to a call on a possible burglary in progress. In that incident, the suspects were caught loading marijuana grow equipment into a U-Haul parked at the residence when deputies arrived. In November 2016, three people were arrested after they were found taking items from the home.

In April 2016, detectives executed a search warrant and found an extensive illegal marijuana grow operation in the home.

It is unknown at this time whether any of the burglaries are related. An investigation is ongoing.



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March 9, 2017
Sheriff’s Office Investigates In-Custody Death

The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death this morning of a 34-year-old man in the Pueblo County Sheriff’s judicial intake area.

The man was arrested Wednesday night by a Colorado State Patrol Trooper on suspicion of driving under the influence and was transported to jail intake in the Dennis Maes Judicial Building.

Deputies had just finished the booking process and the man, who was cooperative, was preparing for transfer to the Pueblo County Detention Center when he suffered a medical emergency. Medical staff onsite attempted life-saving measures but were unable to revive the victim. Sheriff’s Office policies and procedures were followed. An autopsy is pending.

Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor and his staff express condolences to the family.

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