Battlement Mesa raid next to school leads to six gang-related arrests
An approximate three-month investigation by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office ended this week with two more arrests at a residence located near a school in Battlement Mesa that was searched and identified as a source of narcotics and gang activity, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
From Jan. 2018 to March 2018, officers took multiple reports of property crimes, specifically, vehicle thefts, thefts from vehicles, and a burglary in western Garfield County, a Sheriff’s Office press release issued Thursday morning states.
Because the residence was approximately 500 feet from the boundary of Bea Underwood Elementary School, it became an immediate priority to investigators, according to the press release.
On March 13, a narcotics-related search warrant was executed at the residence and officers found forged documents, drug paraphernalia, and documents pertaining to narcotics distribution were recovered, according to the release.
Through the investigation, officers identified six suspects residing in or frequenting the residence.
Parachute Police Department and Rifle Police Department also played roles in investigating the property crimes as their jurisdictions were affected by the activities of these individuals, the press release states.
Four previous arrests had already been made as part of the ongoing investigation.
Arrested Tuesday as a result of the raid were Jairo Morales-Ayala, 21, of Parachute, on charges including felony contributing to the delinquency of a minor and obstructing justice, a misdemeanor. A warrant was also issued Wednesday for the arrest of Marlene Dean Hunter, 35, of Parachute, on charges including forgery of a government-issued document, a felony, plus violation of bail bond conditions, child abuse/negligence, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Hunter was being held on $2,500 bond.
A juvenile was also issued a summons for obstructing a police officer during the incident, and was released to a guardian.
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Prosecutors dropped felony charges for rigging foreclosure auctions, and the two defendants received probation and community service for misdemeanor plea deal.