<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - crime]]> http://gazette.com/rss/crime Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:18:52 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Two more alleged victims come forward in Coronado sex assault case]]> By Lisa Walton, lisa.walton@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/two-more-alleged-victims-come-forward-in-coronado-sex-assault-case/article/1518918?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/two-more-alleged-victims-come-forward-in-coronado-sex-assault-case/article/1518918?custom_click=rss

Two additional alleged victims have been identified in a sex assault case involving a former Coronado High School education assistant who was arrested in February, Colorado Springs police said.

Benjamin Wilkerson, 26, was arrested Feb. 18 after allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a student, police said.

During the course of their investigation, detectives identified the additional victims, one of whom came forward, according to police. The victims are between 15 and 18, police said.

Police also said the alleged offenses spanned several years, and investigators believe there could more victims.



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Two additional alleged victims have been identified in a sex assault case involving a former Coronado High School education assistant who was arrested in February, Colorado Springs police said.

Benjamin Wilkerson, 26, was arrested Feb. 18 after allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a student, police said.

During the course of their investigation, detectives identified the additional victims, one of whom came forward, according to police. The victims are between 15 and 18, police said.

Police also said the alleged offenses spanned several years, and investigators believe there could more victims.

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Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:32:58 -0600
<![CDATA[Former Colorado police officer accused of stealing from dead man]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/former-colorado-police-officer-accused-of-stealing-from-dead-man/article/1518917?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/former-colorado-police-officer-accused-of-stealing-from-dead-man/article/1518917?custom_click=rss ALAMOSA — A former Antonito police officer faces charges of theft and official misconduct in connection with the alleged theft of money from a dead man.

Authorities say Don Mendoza of Alamosa was on duty in Antonito Jan. 4 when he responded to assist a coroner.

Authorities found about $2,200 in cash, but when family members arrived to claim his belongings, they said $1,140 was missing.

According to the Alamosa Valley Courier (http://tinyurl.com/lkb2yrg ), District Attorney Investigator Harry Alejo said Mendoza took the money and returned it 24 days later.

Mendoza was scheduled for advisement Monday, but the hearing was canceled because Mendoza apparently was not notified.



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ALAMOSA — A former Antonito police officer faces charges of theft and official misconduct in connection with the alleged theft of money from a dead man.

Authorities say Don Mendoza of Alamosa was on duty in Antonito Jan. 4 when he responded to assist a coroner.

Authorities found about $2,200 in cash, but when family members arrived to claim his belongings, they said $1,140 was missing.

According to the Alamosa Valley Courier (http://tinyurl.com/lkb2yrg ), District Attorney Investigator Harry Alejo said Mendoza took the money and returned it 24 days later.

Mendoza was scheduled for advisement Monday, but the hearing was canceled because Mendoza apparently was not notified.

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Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:07:42 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado woman sues police for false imprisonment]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-woman-sues-police-for-false-imprisonment/article/1518915?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-woman-sues-police-for-false-imprisonment/article/1518915?custom_click=rss GREELEY — The Tribune reports a woman jailed for 49 days before forgery charges against her were dismissed is suing the city of Greeley, its police department and a police officer for false arrest and imprisonment.

The Tribune, in a story Thursday (https://tinyurl.com/kxsyeap ), cited the suit filed last month by 39-year-old Alma Rubi Chavez-Torres. Chavez-Torres, who had given birth to a daughter three months before, was arrested at home in front of her five children in February, 2012.

She was charged with forgery in connection with an attempt to cash a check on a Greeley man's account. The charges were dismissed when a bank videotape furnished by Greeley police showing it was not Chavez-Torres who committed the



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GREELEY — The Tribune reports a woman jailed for 49 days before forgery charges against her were dismissed is suing the city of Greeley, its police department and a police officer for false arrest and imprisonment.

The Tribune, in a story Thursday (https://tinyurl.com/kxsyeap ), cited the suit filed last month by 39-year-old Alma Rubi Chavez-Torres. Chavez-Torres, who had given birth to a daughter three months before, was arrested at home in front of her five children in February, 2012.

She was charged with forgery in connection with an attempt to cash a check on a Greeley man's account. The charges were dismissed when a bank videotape furnished by Greeley police showing it was not Chavez-Torres who committed the

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Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:39:54 -0600
<![CDATA[Auto break-ins at Colorado Springs park on the rise]]> by andrea sinclair andrea.sinclair@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/auto-break-ins-at-colorado-springs-park-on-the-rise/article/1518876?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/auto-break-ins-at-colorado-springs-park-on-the-rise/article/1518876?custom_click=rss

Lorraine Elger loved walking her dogs at Palmer Park in northeast Colorado Springs until her car got broken into and her purse was stolen - in the middle of the day. Unfortunately, Elger is only one of many people who have had their vehicle's burglarized since the weather started warming up, with police reporting that at least 14 car break-ins have been confirmed in the area since Jan. 1.

The last time she saw her purse, it was tucked in between the front seats of her 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan, covered by a plastic bag from a supermarket, Elger said. She had driven from her home on North Murray Boulevard, about three miles away from Palmer Park, to take advantage of mild and sunny weather on March 21.



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Lorraine Elger loved walking her dogs at Palmer Park in northeast Colorado Springs until her car got broken into and her purse was stolen - in the middle of the day. Unfortunately, Elger is only one of many people who have had their vehicle's burglarized since the weather started warming up, with police reporting that at least 14 car break-ins have been confirmed in the area since Jan. 1.

The last time she saw her purse, it was tucked in between the front seats of her 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan, covered by a plastic bag from a supermarket, Elger said. She had driven from her home on North Murray Boulevard, about three miles away from Palmer Park, to take advantage of mild and sunny weather on March 21.

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Thu, 24 Apr 2014 05:02:12 -0600
<![CDATA[4th grader tries to sell marijuana in northern Colorado]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/4th-grader-tries-to-sell-marijuana-in-northern-colorado/article/1518800?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/4th-grader-tries-to-sell-marijuana-in-northern-colorado/article/1518800?custom_click=rss GREELEY — School officials in northern Colorado are asking parents to take care with their newly legal recreational marijuana, after fourth graders were caught dealing the drug on an elementary school campus.

John Gates, director of safety for Weld County School District 6, said Wednesday that the students involved, three 10-year-old boys and a 10-year-old girl at Greeley's Monfort Elementary School, faced tough discipline but not suspension or expulsion. He would not elaborate on their punishment.

Only one student admitted to trying any of the drug, a small bite of an edible marijuana item, and a subsequent medical exam did not indicate any harmful effect had been caused, Gates said.



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GREELEY — School officials in northern Colorado are asking parents to take care with their newly legal recreational marijuana, after fourth graders were caught dealing the drug on an elementary school campus.

John Gates, director of safety for Weld County School District 6, said Wednesday that the students involved, three 10-year-old boys and a 10-year-old girl at Greeley's Monfort Elementary School, faced tough discipline but not suspension or expulsion. He would not elaborate on their punishment.

Only one student admitted to trying any of the drug, a small bite of an edible marijuana item, and a subsequent medical exam did not indicate any harmful effect had been caused, Gates said.

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Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:58:03 -0600
<![CDATA[Police: Colorado Springs man robbed people he knew at gunpoint]]> by andrea sinclair andrea.sinclair@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/police-colorado-springs-man-robbed-people-he-knew-at-gunpoint/article/1518739?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/police-colorado-springs-man-robbed-people-he-knew-at-gunpoint/article/1518739?custom_click=rss Police said a man is on the run after he robbed his companions at gunpoint Tuesday night at an apartment complex in east Colorado Springs.

An unidentified man and a group of people he knew went to an apartment on the 1400 block of Alvarado Drive, off East Fountain Boulevard, about 10:30 p.m., according to police reports.

Once inside the apartment, the robber pulled a gun and threatened the other tenants to give up their valuables, police said.

The man fled the residence before police arrived.

Anyone with information can call police at 444-7000.

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]]> Police said a man is on the run after he robbed his companions at gunpoint Tuesday night at an apartment complex in east Colorado Springs.

An unidentified man and a group of people he knew went to an apartment on the 1400 block of Alvarado Drive, off East Fountain Boulevard, about 10:30 p.m., according to police reports.

Once inside the apartment, the robber pulled a gun and threatened the other tenants to give up their valuables, police said.

The man fled the residence before police arrived.

Anyone with information can call police at 444-7000.]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:20:02 -0600 <![CDATA[Trial underway for Colorado Springs murder suspect; man accused in death after Fourth of July brawl]]> by andrea sinclair andrea.sinclair@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/trial-underway-for-colorado-springs-murder-suspect-man-accused-in-death-after-fourth-of-july-brawl/article/1518714?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/trial-underway-for-colorado-springs-murder-suspect-man-accused-in-death-after-fourth-of-july-brawl/article/1518714?custom_click=rss Opening statements began Tuesday in the murder trial of 22-year-old Damian Martez Evans, accused of gunning down a man during a brawl at a Fourth of July house party in Colorado Springs last year.

Christopher Vazquez, 21, was found dead in the early hours of July 5 outside a home on the 4500 block of Jetwing Circle, off East Fountain Boulevard. Police responded just after 2 a.m. to reports of shots fired.

The prosecution showed jury members slides from the coroner's autopsy report, which said Vazquez was shot five times. A gunshot to the pelvis and another to the chest caused major internal bleeding.

All bullets found in the victim's body were found to be a match to a gun Evans allegedly had in his possession during the



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Opening statements began Tuesday in the murder trial of 22-year-old Damian Martez Evans, accused of gunning down a man during a brawl at a Fourth of July house party in Colorado Springs last year.

Christopher Vazquez, 21, was found dead in the early hours of July 5 outside a home on the 4500 block of Jetwing Circle, off East Fountain Boulevard. Police responded just after 2 a.m. to reports of shots fired.

The prosecution showed jury members slides from the coroner's autopsy report, which said Vazquez was shot five times. A gunshot to the pelvis and another to the chest caused major internal bleeding.

All bullets found in the victim's body were found to be a match to a gun Evans allegedly had in his possession during the

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Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:09:55 -0600
<![CDATA[Gunnison police seek woman in infant's death]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/gunnison-police-seek-woman-in-infants-death/article/1518733?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/gunnison-police-seek-woman-in-infants-death/article/1518733?custom_click=rss MONTROSE — Gunnison police are looking for a 39-year-old woman who has been indicted in the death of her 5-month-old son.

The Montrose Daily Press reported Tuesday (http://tinyurl.com/kl5so7p ) Corrina Denham faces charges of criminally negligent homicide and fatal child abuse in the May 2013 death of Jacob Klein.

Police say they don't know where Denham is but she has family in Denver and has been seen in Gunnison.

No phone listing could be found her in Gunnison or Denver.

The cause of the infant's death hasn't been released. Gunnison police say he wasn't breathing and had no detectable heartbeat when he was found by officers responding to a medical emergency on May 3.

He was taken to The



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MONTROSE — Gunnison police are looking for a 39-year-old woman who has been indicted in the death of her 5-month-old son.

The Montrose Daily Press reported Tuesday (http://tinyurl.com/kl5so7p ) Corrina Denham faces charges of criminally negligent homicide and fatal child abuse in the May 2013 death of Jacob Klein.

Police say they don't know where Denham is but she has family in Denver and has been seen in Gunnison.

No phone listing could be found her in Gunnison or Denver.

The cause of the infant's death hasn't been released. Gunnison police say he wasn't breathing and had no detectable heartbeat when he was found by officers responding to a medical emergency on May 3.

He was taken to The

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Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:06:06 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado lawmakers trying to restrict solitary confinement]]> By Ivan Moreno, Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-lawmakers-trying-to-restrict-solitary-confinement/article/1518732?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-lawmakers-trying-to-restrict-solitary-confinement/article/1518732?custom_click=rss DENVER — A year after a Colorado inmate held in solitary confinement allegedly gunned down the state prisons chief upon being released, lawmakers are moving to restrict use of the punishment for the mentally ill.

The bill continues the efforts that Colorado Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements had been working on, and highlights a growing movement by states to limit the practice of solitary confinement amid questions about its effectiveness.

Lawmakers in a House committee Tuesday unanimously approved the measure, which would forbid placing inmates in solitary confinement if they have a serious mental illness, unless there are pressing circumstances. The bill already has cleared the Senate.



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DENVER — A year after a Colorado inmate held in solitary confinement allegedly gunned down the state prisons chief upon being released, lawmakers are moving to restrict use of the punishment for the mentally ill.

The bill continues the efforts that Colorado Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements had been working on, and highlights a growing movement by states to limit the practice of solitary confinement amid questions about its effectiveness.

Lawmakers in a House committee Tuesday unanimously approved the measure, which would forbid placing inmates in solitary confinement if they have a serious mental illness, unless there are pressing circumstances. The bill already has cleared the Senate.

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Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:04:45 -0600
<![CDATA[Traffic stop in Colorado Springs leads to drug bust]]> by name Newspaper - http://gazette.com/traffic-stop-in-colorado-springs-leads-to-drug-bust/article/1518682?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/traffic-stop-in-colorado-springs-leads-to-drug-bust/article/1518682?custom_click=rss

A March traffic stop in Colorado Springs where police say they found cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine led to a larger drug bust in the city on Monday.

Four people, including the driver in the traffic stop, were jailed and more than seven pounds of drugs were seized, according to a Colorado Springs police news release.

A warrant was served Monday as a result of an investigation into the source of the drugs found in the traffic stop. Police searched an apartment at 2418 Raywood View, near Briargate Parkway and Chapel Hill Drive, and allegedly found 315 grams of cocaine, more than three pounds of heroin and more than three pounds of meth, all packed for distribution, and $44,500 in cash, according to the news release. Police



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A March traffic stop in Colorado Springs where police say they found cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine led to a larger drug bust in the city on Monday.

Four people, including the driver in the traffic stop, were jailed and more than seven pounds of drugs were seized, according to a Colorado Springs police news release.

A warrant was served Monday as a result of an investigation into the source of the drugs found in the traffic stop. Police searched an apartment at 2418 Raywood View, near Briargate Parkway and Chapel Hill Drive, and allegedly found 315 grams of cocaine, more than three pounds of heroin and more than three pounds of meth, all packed for distribution, and $44,500 in cash, according to the news release. Police

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Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:05:44 -0600
<![CDATA[Georgia offender arrested in Denver-area sex sting]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/georgia-offender-arrested-in-denver-area-sex-sting/article/1518692?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/georgia-offender-arrested-in-denver-area-sex-sting/article/1518692?custom_click=rss DENVER — Authorities say a convicted child molester from Georgia has been arrested in suburban Denver for trying to lure a teenage girl to have sex with him.

The Jefferson County District Attorney's Office charged 51-year-old James Lee Pierce on Tuesday with crimes including attempted sexual assault on a child and Internet luring. Prosecutors say Pierce traveled from Georgia to Denver by bus, believing he was going to have sex with a teen, who was actually an undercover detective.

An arrest affidavit says Pierce sent the detective sexually explicit messages and photos through a social networking site for months.

The documents say Pierce was convicted of aggravated child molestation in 1992 and sentenced to



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DENVER — Authorities say a convicted child molester from Georgia has been arrested in suburban Denver for trying to lure a teenage girl to have sex with him.

The Jefferson County District Attorney's Office charged 51-year-old James Lee Pierce on Tuesday with crimes including attempted sexual assault on a child and Internet luring. Prosecutors say Pierce traveled from Georgia to Denver by bus, believing he was going to have sex with a teen, who was actually an undercover detective.

An arrest affidavit says Pierce sent the detective sexually explicit messages and photos through a social networking site for months.

The documents say Pierce was convicted of aggravated child molestation in 1992 and sentenced to

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Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:34:19 -0600
<![CDATA[Preliminary hearing held for two men accused in Colorado Springs kidnapping, shooting]]> lisa walton lisa.walton@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/preliminary-hearing-held-for-two-men-accused-in-colorado-springs-kidnapping-shooting/article/1518650?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/preliminary-hearing-held-for-two-men-accused-in-colorado-springs-kidnapping-shooting/article/1518650?custom_click=rss

Two men accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman before allegedly shooting her in the head and leaving her to die had been at an apartment party with her hours before she was found alive on Dec. 28 near Old Colorado City, according to investigators.

At a preliminary hearing for Hamilton Lee Sullivan and Jorge Luis Hernandez, the suspects in the case, Colorado Springs police detectives told the court that the victim had been involved in an altercation with the men before they allegedly forced her to leave the party. Witnesses told police she was grabbed by one of the men and pushed out of a door and down the stairs, where she fell and hit her head, detectives told the court.



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Two men accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman before allegedly shooting her in the head and leaving her to die had been at an apartment party with her hours before she was found alive on Dec. 28 near Old Colorado City, according to investigators.

At a preliminary hearing for Hamilton Lee Sullivan and Jorge Luis Hernandez, the suspects in the case, Colorado Springs police detectives told the court that the victim had been involved in an altercation with the men before they allegedly forced her to leave the party. Witnesses told police she was grabbed by one of the men and pushed out of a door and down the stairs, where she fell and hit her head, detectives told the court.

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Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:24:08 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs victim: Good deed turned into assault]]> By Lisa Walton, lisa.walton@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-victim-good-deed-turned-into-assault/article/1518654?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-victim-good-deed-turned-into-assault/article/1518654?custom_click=rss

A man suspected of kidnapping and sexually assaulting another man on April 14 allegedly forced his victim to take drugs and drink alcohol while they drove around and sat in a car together for more than 12 hours, according to court documents.

The victim, a convenience store employee, was leaving work on Garden of the Gods Road when he ran into the suspect, Justin Jay Hatfield, 38, a customer from earlier that night, court documents state. The victim had agreed to give Hatfield a ride to his car, police said.

After driving several blocks the victim became suspicious, he told police. When the victim asked where they were going, Hatfield allegedly became angry and told him to "shut up and keep driving," according to court



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A man suspected of kidnapping and sexually assaulting another man on April 14 allegedly forced his victim to take drugs and drink alcohol while they drove around and sat in a car together for more than 12 hours, according to court documents.

The victim, a convenience store employee, was leaving work on Garden of the Gods Road when he ran into the suspect, Justin Jay Hatfield, 38, a customer from earlier that night, court documents state. The victim had agreed to give Hatfield a ride to his car, police said.

After driving several blocks the victim became suspicious, he told police. When the victim asked where they were going, Hatfield allegedly became angry and told him to "shut up and keep driving," according to court

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Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:12:31 -0600
<![CDATA[Only 3 seek restitution in tainted Colorado cantaloupe case]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/only-3-seek-restitution-in-tainted-colorado-cantaloupe-case/article/1518687?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/only-3-seek-restitution-in-tainted-colorado-cantaloupe-case/article/1518687?custom_click=rss Prosecutors say only three people have submitted restitution claims totaling $13,000 from two Colorado cantaloupe farmers linked to a deadly listeria outbreak.

KRDO-TV reported Monday (http://tinyurl.com/kham3o2 ) the requests included doctor bills, attorney fees and funeral expenses.

Eric and Ryan Jensen were ordered to pay up to $150,000 restitution each after pleading guilty in October to federal charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.

The 2011 listeria outbreak killed 33 people and sickened 147 in 28 states. Investigators said the melons were likely contaminated in the packing house of the Jensen's southeastern Colorado farm.



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Prosecutors say only three people have submitted restitution claims totaling $13,000 from two Colorado cantaloupe farmers linked to a deadly listeria outbreak.

KRDO-TV reported Monday (http://tinyurl.com/kham3o2 ) the requests included doctor bills, attorney fees and funeral expenses.

Eric and Ryan Jensen were ordered to pay up to $150,000 restitution each after pleading guilty in October to federal charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.

The 2011 listeria outbreak killed 33 people and sickened 147 in 28 states. Investigators said the melons were likely contaminated in the packing house of the Jensen's southeastern Colorado farm.

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Tue, 22 Apr 2014 11:49:34 -0600
<![CDATA[8 arrested in Pueblo drive-by shootings]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/8-arrested-in-pueblo-drive-by-shootings/article/1518652?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/8-arrested-in-pueblo-drive-by-shootings/article/1518652?custom_click=rss PUEBLO — Pueblo police say they have arrested eight people in an investigation into a string of drive-by shootings and an arson fire, but they refused to identify the suspects.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported Monday (http://tinyurl.com/lcm2nf3 ) the arrests came over the weekend.

Police Chief Luis Velez says identifying the people in custody would tip off others wanted by police. Velez said only one person still being sought is a "major player."

Velez has scheduled a news conference Wednesday to identify the suspects.

Seven drive-by shootings have been reported in Pueblo since March 31, and police say all of them are gang-related. Investigators say an April 14 arson fire was also gang-related.



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PUEBLO — Pueblo police say they have arrested eight people in an investigation into a string of drive-by shootings and an arson fire, but they refused to identify the suspects.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported Monday (http://tinyurl.com/lcm2nf3 ) the arrests came over the weekend.

Police Chief Luis Velez says identifying the people in custody would tip off others wanted by police. Velez said only one person still being sought is a "major player."

Velez has scheduled a news conference Wednesday to identify the suspects.

Seven drive-by shootings have been reported in Pueblo since March 31, and police say all of them are gang-related. Investigators say an April 14 arson fire was also gang-related.

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Mon, 21 Apr 2014 20:44:43 -0600
<![CDATA[Denver police investigating fatal hit-and-run]]> http://gazette.com/denver-police-investigating-fatal-hit-and-run/article/feed/110382?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/denver-police-investigating-fatal-hit-and-run/article/feed/110382?custom_click=rss DENVER (AP) — Authorities are asking for the public's help in finding the driver who hit and killed a pedestrian on Interstate 25 in Denver.

Police say the pedestrian, whose name and age have not been released, was hit in the northbound lanes of I-25 near Auraria Parkway at about 2:25 a.m. on Sunday. The victim was hit by two vehicles, one of which left the scene.

A passenger side mirror was found at the scene of the accident, leading investigators to believe the car involved was a 1993-1996 Infinity G20 sedan. The vehicle likely has damage to the front headlight, hood and windshield.

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]]> DENVER (AP) — Authorities are asking for the public's help in finding the driver who hit and killed a pedestrian on Interstate 25 in Denver.

Police say the pedestrian, whose name and age have not been released, was hit in the northbound lanes of I-25 near Auraria Parkway at about 2:25 a.m. on Sunday. The victim was hit by two vehicles, one of which left the scene.

A passenger side mirror was found at the scene of the accident, leading investigators to believe the car involved was a 1993-1996 Infinity G20 sedan. The vehicle likely has damage to the front headlight, hood and windshield.]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 15:00:20 -0600