Crime Briefs: Bustang passenger found with drug smorgasbord |

Crime Briefs: Bustang passenger found with drug smorgasbord

Ryan Summerlin

A Bustang passenger on the night of March 10 reported seeing a man walk into the bathroom with a needle in his hand, stay in the bathroom for 30 to 45 minutes, then come out acting strangely.

Meeting the bus at the 27th Street stop, Glenwood Springs police said the 26-year-old suspect, Ryan Malec, appeared to be under the influence of some substance.

Malec “had a bloody nose, bloodshot eyes and extremely dilated pupils,” an officer wrote in his report.

The man slurred his speech, was staring off into space and had fresh needle marks on his arm. While being questioned, the man dropped a “plastic bag covered in a brown substance that contained a used needle and multiple needle caps,” according to an affidavit.

Asked if he had any more needles, Malec said, “I don’t know,” according to police.

Police arrested him after he reached into his jacket and failed to stop when officers asked him to, and he resisted momentarily.

In his hand they found a plastic bag containing about 65 Xanax pills. In another bag he was holding were several bundles containing, in total, eight grams of cocaine. They also found on him multiple bundles of heroin, totaling 47 grams, according to an affidavit.

In one of his pockets officers also found a loaded and uncapped needle along with three used needles that were uncapped.

The man also had $9,643.25 in cash, mostly in $100 bills, according to a police report.

He was arrested on charges of distribution of heroin, two counts of possession, and distribution of a controlled substance, all of which are drug felonies.

His arresting charges also included misdemeanor possession and misdemeanor use of a controlled substance.

Parachute man arrested on child sex assault

Parachute police on March 11 arrested Fernando Zamora-Mendoza, 55, of Parachute, on child sex assault charges.

An arrest affidavit appears to describe sexual abuse of multiple children in incidents that spanned from 2013 through 2016. Extensive redactions in the police report make it difficult to say exactly how many children were involved.

The investigation also appears to have involved several forensic interviews with multiple victims at River Bridge Regional Center.

In a recorded phone call with a victim’s (or victims’) family member, Zamora-Mendoza repeatedly denied the allegations and said he would shoot himself before doing anything like that, according to an affidavit.

He was arrested on two counts of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, a felony, four counts of misdemeanor child abuse, and felony contributing to the delinquency of a minor.


A California woman alerted Garfield County authorities March 10 after receiving an alarming text from a friend of hers on Canyon Creek. The text pleaded for help from the friend, who said her husband had been hitting her and had broken her phone and taken her keys.

When deputies arrived, the 61-year-old husband told them that the couple had been fighting earlier and that his wife of 27 years had been suffering mental issues in recent months.

“(He) advised me that she has claimed that he has assaulted her a few times before,” a deputy wrote in his report.

Earlier that day, after she told her husband that she had quit her job, the two got into an argument, the man told deputies. He said he took her keys “as she was in no shape to drive,” and she grabbed some of his tools and began stabbing the walls of the home. She did the same with a drill, then began swinging the drill at him, the 61-year-old told police.

Then the two wrestled around as he was trying to calm her, he said.

Another deputy had seen a video clearly showing “someone matching the stature of (the 61-year-old), physically assaulting (the wife) multiple times, in the front entry of the residence,” according to the deputy’s report. “I saw a small portion of the video, in which I could observe (him) kicking (her), while she was down on the ground and he was standing over her.”

The wife added that he had covered her mouth and nose with a sweater, making it hard for her to breathe.

The 61-year-old husband was arrested on charges of second-degree assault by strangulation, a felony, and misdemeanor harassment. Domestic violence was applied as a sentence enhancer.

Wal-Mart theft turns up meth

Rifle police were dispatched to Wal-Mart on a theft call, where a man had been seen concealing items in a backpack, then trying to leave the store without paying.

When a Wal-Mart employee tried to confront him, the man bolted for a nearby Starbucks parking lot. Police spotted a man running in the parking lot and successfully detained him.

He eventually admitted that he concealed items in his pack, according to a police report. Police found him with 31 items totaling $206.70.

Officers also found him with a hypodermic needle that appeared to be used. In his pack were also micro bags with white residue. One contained cotton swab tips, which are “commonly saturated with a controlled substance like methamphetamine,” according to a Rifle officer.

The substance tested positive for meth.

He was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine, a drug felony, misdemeanor theft and possession of drug paraphernalia, a petty offense.

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