November 6, 2014: At 2 am this Wednesday November 5, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to the 35000 block of Hwy 96 East to investigate a report of a suicidal male with a gun. The man, 38-year-old Brian Augustine had made threats to harm himself but while enroute deputies learned that his comments were not limited to ending just his life. Augustine and his girlfriend had been arguing throughout the day when Augustine reportedly pulled a gun out and threatened the lives of himself and his girlfriend, her two children and anyone else that tried to enter the home.
During the incident Augustine shot the semi-automatic handgun into the floor of the residence. The female was able to leave and take the children with her. Once safely outside the residence, she called 911. For a short time the suspect remained inside the residence while law enforcement attempted contact with him. Once inside, deputies smelled a strong odor of natural gas and found both fire and carbon monoxide detectors disabled. After the house was aired out, the female helped deputies locate the weapon and Augustine was taken into custody without incident.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor knows this incident could have had a very different outcome had it not been for the courage of the victim. “As an agency, we respond to multiple calls of Domestic Violence. The tragic part is that oftentimes the victims don’t realize the level of danger they are in until it’s too late,” says Taylor. “Because of the actions of this victim and our deputies this situation ended peacefully but it is an opportunity to share this important message.” Sheriff Taylor encourages anyone in a threatening or violent relationship to reach out to someone for help and guidance and believes the local victim advocate unit, ACOVA is the perfect first step toward a new beginning. To reach ACOVA, 24-hours a day, citizens can call 719 583 6250 and ask for help. The caller can remain anonymous.
Brian Augustine was charged with Attempted First degree Murder (F2), Attempted Arson (F4), Menacing with a Deadly Weapon, (F5), as well as Domestic Violence, Harassment, and Reckless Endangerment. No bond amount has been set at this time.
September 9, 2014
Pueblo West, CO: On Monday September 8, 2014 at approximately 9:49 pm the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a Pueblo Police Officer that had just got off duty and was returning to their residence in Pueblo West in their personal vehicle, still in uniform. The officer was following a vehicle driving erratically and had followed the vehicle to 1033 Wild Wind Place. While the officer was following they were attempting to radio the information to sheriff’s dispatch but were not able to get the correct channel. The officer made contacted with the driver later identified as 26 year old Christina Furber. As the officer was attempting to identify Christina, a struggle ensued and Christina pulled a large caliber revolver from her purse and fired at the officer. The officer returned fire and the suspect fled to the south of the residence near an open field. The officer was not shot and at this time, it does not appear that Christina was shot either.
A reverse 911 was made to area residences to lock their doors and stay inside. Sheriff’s deputies, K-9 and tactical team members are actively searching the area for Christina and she is considered armed and dangerous. Christina was last seen wearing a torn pink shirt and blue jeans and has short red hair. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Christina is asked to contact the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers and should not attempt to contact her on their own. People living in the area are asked to call 911 with anything suspicious.
Detectives continue to process the scene and are expected to be there for several hours. Detectives are seeking an arrest warrant for Christina with a charge of 1st Degree Attempted Murder of a Peace Officer. Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor has committed all office resources and will make every effort to take Christina into custody as quickly and safely as possible.
August 27, 2014
Pueblo West, CO: At approximately 6:30 pm, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a reported suicidal 35-year-old male in Pueblo West on Monday. Deputies received information that the 35-year-old sent a series of messages telling family members goodbye. Deputies ascertained the 35-year-old male subject was armed in the Pueblo West residence. After approximately 30 minutes of knocking and announcing with no response, deputies entered the residence and found the male coming out of an upstairs bedroom. The deputies encountered the subject who was armed with a fully-loaded Glock 9mm handgun and was refusing to place the gun down. After the male failed to comply with several verbal commands, a deputy deployed two beanbag rounds through their shotgun striking the male in the chest and stomach area. The male threw his handgun when he was struck, and after a short struggle, he was taken into custody. The male was medically cleared on scene by AMR and later transported to Parkview Hospital where he was held on a mental health hold.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor says “This incident had the potential to be a deadly force case and I’m very proud of my deputies’ decision to utilize less lethal means to peacefully end the incident.” Deputies are tasked with making split second decisions sometimes involving life and death and the foresight of the deputies in this case, proved to be beneficial.
August 4, 2014
August 4, 2014: Just before 7:00 AM this morning, the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call at the Cannasseur Marijuana Dispensary on N. Precision Dr. in Pueblo West. The caller reported a man had just forced an employee into the business at gunpoint and other employees were believed to be inside the building. Deputies immediately responded and the PCSO Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team was called out. While the suspect was inside the building he bound the hands of employees, ripped the phones from the wall, and took a large amount of marijuana/THC products. Deputies quickly and quietly surrounded the building. When the man ran from the store, he was forced onto the ground at gunpoint and taken into custody without incident by patrol deputies.
Arrested was 40-year-old Texas resident, David Lopez. Lopez was armed with a fully loaded (30 round magazine) 9mm Glock pistol. The stolen items were still in his possession. Deputies discovered a vehicle parked at a nearby business with the license plates concealed. It is believed the vehicle was parked there by Lopez as a getaway car. Deputies have learned Lopez has been spotted at least two other marijuana dispensaries in Pueblo West. Precision Dr. was closed during the incident but has since re-opened.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor credits both the awareness of the 911 caller and the quick response of the deputies with the peaceful resolution. “This could have very easily escalated into a deadly situation,” says Taylor, “this suspect was heavily armed and had carefully planned his crime but because of the witnesses quick call into 911 and the rapid response by communications and patrol, the entire event was over in just over 30 minutes.”
Lopez is being booked into Pueblo County Jail on multiple felony charges, including False Imprisonment, Kidnapping, Aggravated Robbery, and Menacing.
June 12, 2014
June 12, 2014: Just before 2:00 PM today, the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, along with the US Marshals Service and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office arrested an individual they had been attempting to locate for the last 2 ½ months. The arrest occurred after members of the task force recognized Lopez’s truck in the Belmont area. They followed the truck into the McDonald’s parking lot on Bonforte Boulevard. As the suspect pulled around toward the drive-thru, several undercover vehicles blocked the path of his truck. Detectives then ordered Lopez from the vehicle and took him into custody without incident.
29-year-old, Luis Fernando Lopez is wanted on several warrants including, Homicide, Menacing/Assault, and Fraud. Lopez’ criminal history included multiple violent crimes and although his criminal history prohibited Lopez from carrying weapons, law enforcement knew he often kept firearms in his possession. Lopez is being booked into the Pueblo County Detention Facility, where he will be held without bond on warrants.
PCSO Law Enforcement Captain David J. Lucero was on scene during the arrest. “It was great seeing everyone work together to get this violent offender off the streets. We knew he was staying in the Pueblo area and, working off tips and as a team with the Violent Offender Task Force, the Pueblo Police Department and the Colorado Springs Police Department, we had him pinned down before he could hurt anyone else. We are grateful for the support these agencies provided,” said Lucero. “We definitely surprised him, he didn’t have time to react to our presence and that was just what we needed to get this done quickly and peacefully.”
The US Marshal’s Colorado Violent Offender Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional group of law enforcement agencies whose primary task is to apprehend the most violent of wanted persons in our state. They have been instrumental in the apprehension of multiple suspects throughout Colorado. Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office is an active participant in this Task Force.
April 11, 2014
April 11, 2014: This Wednesday, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit arrested 29 year-old, parolee Carlos Valdez on multiple felony charges. The arrest was made after Pueblo Parole called PCSO in to assist with an ongoing investigation into Valdez. Parole had been surveilling a mobile home on the 5000 Block of Red Creek Springs Road since they placed Valdez on Escape status through their office.
At the time of his arrest, Valdez had a large sum of money in his possession. Recovered from inside the home was a Walther P-22 semi-automatic handgun that had been reported stolen in the city of Pueblo. Investigators also seized over $3000.00 in cash and more than three grams of Heroin. 31 year-old Marquisa Ann Valdez, Carlos’ wife, was taken into custody as well.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor knows the partnership between state and local agencies has evolved into a necessity for public safety. “We have an excellent working relationship with the local parole office. I am concerned about the state’s early releases from prison reoffending in communities across the state and ending up in local jails” says Sheriff Taylor, who has been working with other local leaders to identify solutions to the problems these offenders create.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Valdez have been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Aside from his Parole hold and the distribution charges, Carlos has been booked on theft, possession of a weapon by an offender, and special offender charges associated with the circumstances of the arrest. He is currently on Parole Hold in Pueblo County Jail.
April 5, 2014
April 5, 2014: The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit has been investigating a home on the 1000 block of Linda Avenue for over six months. The investigation confirmed illegal activity at the home. The unit was able to obtain a search warrant based on the investigation. At approximately 8:00 pm yesterday detectives arrived to execute the search warrant.
Arrested were 51 year-old Steven Wilson, 39 year-old Shane Smith, and 35 year-old Kimberlie Verigan. The three will be charged with felony counts related to the search. In addition, each had a previous felony conviction and/or outstanding warrants for their arrest. Verigan’s outstanding charges included two Department of Corrections escape warrants. Smith is currently on probation. The home owner, Steven Wilson, had multiple arrest warrants from Pueblo and El Paso Counties. Any new felony charges will include special offender charges because each was a convicted felon, prohibited from possessing weapons and controlled substances.
Once the scene was secure and all three were in custody, detectives were able to search the home. During the search they discovered Methamphetamine, digitals scales, US Currency, boxes of live ammunition, knives, machetes, semi-automatic handguns and shotguns. Every gun found was loaded with live rounds in the chamber.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor knows the risks associated with entry during a search warrant execution. “This was a tough entry, every gun loaded and ready to fire, some with-in arms reach of the suspects”, said Taylor “The narcotics unit works with precision and as a team and that shows in their continued safety and success.”
All three have been booked into Pueblo County Detention Center pending court appearance.
February 24, 2014
February 23, 2014: Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 27-year-old Zachary S Hoffman for Felony Burglary and Felony Theft following a week-long investigation. Hoffman is a suspect in the CSU-Pueblo baseball clubhouse burglary that occurred last Monday evening. Deputies made the arrest without incident at the home of Hoffman’s parents in Pueblo West. Hoffman is currently being booked into Pueblo County Detention Facility, where he will be held on $50,000 bail.
On Tuesday, February 18, staff reported that someone had broken into the University baseball clubhouse and stolen more than $20,000 in property that belonged to coaches, players, and the university. Included in the theft were several autographed photographs of famous baseball players. Hoffman had reportedly been attempting to pawn these items at various pawn and sports shops throughout Pueblo last week without success. Outside one of the shops on Friday, February 21, deputies located Hoffman, who was wearing CSU-Pueblo practice gear that matched reported stolen items, and they asked for permission to search Hoffman’s vehicle. He refused, but deputies could see what appeared to be additional stolen items from the burglary through the windows and immediately impounded the car. They believed the clothing Hoffman was wearing also was stolen property, so they confiscated both the vehicle and the clothing in the parking lot.
A signed search warrant for the vehicle was obtained on Sunday morning and deputies executed it later in the day. During the search, they recovered many more of the items reported stolen. Those items included the autographed photographs, several items of clothing, a necklace, duffle bags, CSU-Pueblo hoodies and a jacket, sunglasses, and a pair of personalized CSU-Pueblo batting gloves. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Hoffman, who also is on probation for the felony charge of providing false information to a pawn broker, an unrelated case.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor is glad to have the suspect in custody and is hopeful that much of the property can be returned to the team. “We know this is frustrating to those players, many of whom consider that clubhouse their home away from home. I am proud of our guys for following the leads in this case to this conclusion. When the players got back
from their road trip today, they returned to some good news and it’s Lt. Bill Brown and the University deputies that made that possible.”
December 29, 2013
PCSO would like to thank the public, media, and law enforcement across the nation for their efforts! US Marshals and Oklahoma law enforcement arrested Mapps Saturday night.
December 29, 2013 – Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor and U.S. Marshal John Kammerzell announce the capture of fugitive Harry Mapps in Roland, Oklahoma. The operation to capture Mapps was conducted the evening of Saturday, December 28th by Deputy U.S. Marshals and Task Force Officers from the Eastern District of Oklahoma Violent Crimes Task Force with the assistance of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Roland Police Department. Mapps was located and apprehended at a motel near Interstate 40 based on information developed by Deputy Marshals in Colorado, Texas, and Oklahoma.
Mapps was wanted by the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office on a no bond nationwide extraditable warrant for three counts first degree Murder, and additional felony charges of Theft, Identity Theft, Forgery, and Arson. Mapps was also wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service for federal Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution.
“The successful outcome of this large-scale manhunt is a testament to the combined efforts of law enforcement across numerous states and jurisdictions.” said District of Colorado U.S. Marshal John Kammerzell. “I am honored that the Marshals Service could assist in bringing the alleged perpetrator of this horrific crime to justice.”
Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor is grateful to law enforcement across the nation and is pleased to see Mapps returning to Pueblo County, “There are a lot of people who will breathe easier knowing Harry Carl Mapps is in custody and our gratitude goes out to the law enforcement agencies nationwide who worked to locate this fugitive, specifically those in the Roland community and the US Marshals Service. While our work isn’t done, there is certainly satisfaction in knowing we can begin this next phase of the case and that Mapps will soon return to Pueblo to answer for the crimes he has been charged with.”