Local news briefs | PostIndependent.com

Local news briefs

Post Independent staff reports
Glenwood Springs, CO, Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced that it arrested two known gang members at the Strawberry Days festival on Saturday, and a third gang member on Tuesday.

The anti-gang operation, which ran from Friday through Sunday, was carried out in cooperation with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, and was aimed at nabbing known local gang members.

Following the arrests, one is in custody in the county jail on criminal charges and the other two are in ICE custody for immigration violations. Two of those arrested have been deported previously.

ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok said the agency’s privacy policies prevent him from disclosing the names of those arrested.

In addition to the arrests, the sheriff’s department’s Threat Assessment Group contacted about 20 other gang members during the weekend festival and asked them to take off bandannas or other gang-related clothing while at the fair.

“We feel this was very successful in keeping the fair a safe place for families to enjoy time together,” said sheriff’s spokeswoman Tanny McGinnis in a written statement issued Wednesday.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A motion by the defendant in the felony theft and business fraud case against former Glenwood Springs interior designer Shawnee Ryan to disqualify the 9th District Attorney’s Office from prosecuting the case has been denied.

Public defender James Conway, who is representing Ryan, argued in a motions hearing before District Judge Denise Lynch in April that a special prosecutor should be assigned because one of the victims in the case works in the DA’s office, creating a potential conflict of interest.

Ryan, 54, faces multiple counts of felony theft for allegedly defrauding at least a dozen different clients out of thousands of dollars by engaging in deceptive business practices and failing to deliver services and materials.

Among the alleged victims were Michael Duffy and his wife, Cindie, who works as a legal assistant in the DA’s office.

Judge Lynch denied the motion in a May 10 order, citing the fact that Cindie Duffy does not work directly with the deputy district attorney who is handling the case, Andrea Bryan, and that safeguards are in place within the office to ensure Duffy cannot access the case file.

Ryan was arrested in May 2010 following a year-long investigation by the district attorney and local law enforcement agencies. She remains free on a $38,000 bond, and is due back in court for an arraignment hearing on July 21.

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