Fugitive caught in dragnet west of Silt
Post Independent Editor
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
SILT, Colorado – Local, state and federal authorities collaborated Wednesday afternoon to capture a state prison fugitive, on the run for the past six years, who has been living recently in Silt, according to Silt Police Chief Levy Burris.
Louis Gonzales, 33, who also went by the names Gerado Gonzales and Gerado Sanchez Sanchez, peacefully surrendered to Garfield County sheriff’s deputies following a traffic stop on Green Lane, just off Highway 6 near the Cottonwood Mobile Home Park east of Rifle.
Authorities set up undercover surveillance Wednesday on a residence in a Silt neighborhood where Gonzales was believed to be living, Burris said.
But while the law enforcement agencies were positioning officers for a more extensive surveillance in the neighborhood, the suspected fugitive left the house, climbed into a vehicle and started driving west on Highway 6 toward Rifle.
Burris and other officers followed Gonzales in unmarked police cars. A sheriff’s deputy driving a marked vehicle soon caught up and made the traffic stop, Burris said.
“We ended up scrambling a bit to make the stop,” he said.
Gonzales was arrested on a warrant for escape from the Colorado Department of Corrections issued in April 2005. He was also wanted on a more recent warrant from the Rifle Police Department for sexual assault on a child.
The capture was in the works for several weeks, Burris said. The U.S. Marshals Service had contacted Silt police after tracking Gonzales back to Silt, where he was known to have lived in 2003. Assistance in the case also came from the Rifle and Carbondale police departments.
“We’d been watching for him for a couple of weeks and hadn’t seen him,” Burris said.
Then the Marshals Office learned that Gonzales would be coming home to his Silt residence Wednesday afternoon, prompting the dragnet.
Burris said Gonzales has an extensive criminal history from Garfield County and other parts of Colorado, and was apparently serving a sentence for drug dealing.
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