Crime Briefs: Felony charges in accident Thursday on Hwy 82
Colorado State Patrol arrived at the scene of a two-car accident on Highway 82 just south of Glenwood Springs early Thursday to find Francisco Ruelas, 22, of Grand Junction smelling of alcohol in the driver’s seat of a heavily damaged black Honda.
Brook Bergan, the driver of the other car — a white Pontiac — told troopers that he was driving upvalley to work when he encountered the Honda with no lights on blocking both lanes, and wasn’t able to stop in time to prevent a collision. Kacy Doyal, a passenger in the Pontiac, was transported to Valley View Hospital with serious injuries.
Ruelas told troopers that he had rolled the car, but denied drinking and refused roadside or chemical testing. Authorities obtained a warrant for three blood draws to determine if Ruelas was intoxicated, and arrested him for felony vehicular assault, driving under the influence, careless driving, and failure to provide proof of insurance.
He was later released on a $7,000 bond.
DUMPING OIL OUTSIDE OF THE DUMP
When Brad Douglas, 31, of Glenwood Springs, turned up at the South Canyon landfill with 10 gallons of waste oil, he was told to dispose of it properly elsewhere.
Police later found several leaky containers of oil just 10 feet from a creek a few miles down the road from the dump.
Douglas initially denied dumping the oil and claimed he had disposed of it at a local auto parts store. Confronted with the evidence against him, he said he had been having a hard time getting rid of it.
He was arrested on April 16 for a hazardous substance incident, a felony.
MORE ARRESTS IN RIFLE METH BUST
Police have made several more arrests in an ongoing Rifle area drug sting, bringing the total number of related cases to at least 12.
Francisco Osuna, 26, and Andrea Eden, 39, and Joshua Brooks, 37, all share the same affidavit as last week’s arrests for methamphetamine distribution, which alleged that the ring dealt of pounds of methamphetamine around Garfield, Eagle and Mesa counties.
Laura Gonzales, 37, of Parachute may face additional charges on top of the possession of a controlled substance and tampering with physical evidence charges for which she was arrested on March 13. Picked up on a $25,000 warrant, Gonzales told authorities she was injured and was brought to Grand River Hospital for medical clearance. Staff later discovered 29 grams of methamphetamine in a D battery hidden in a tampon box in the bathroom she used during her stay.
Osuna and Eden have since been released on $50,000 bonds, while Kristine Llacuna and Rose Padron are out on $5,000 bonds. Six more suspects, including Frank Shino and Javier Madeo, were still in jail Friday afternoon.
Other drug news:
• Amador Calderon-Valiente, 24, of California, was arrested April 19 for possession of methamphetamine after the pickup he was riding in with four other men was pulled over for a cracked windshield on Interstate 70 near Rulison.
• Daniel Vinnece, 42, of Ames, Iowa, attempted to throw a perfume box full of a white crystal substance into the Colorado River when the State Patrol pulled him over going 70 mph in a 50 mph zone in the Glenwood Canyon, but missed. He was arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance, driving with a restrained license, speeding — and littering.
CAUGHT STEALING FROM THE BOSS
The same day that Leslie Durkee Jr, 51, of Glenwood Springs dropped by his former workplace, $1,900 went missing from the cash drawer. Following an investigation by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, a warrant was issued on charges of felony burglary, theft and failure to appear. Durkee was arrested April 19.
• Not long after several business checks went missing from a Glenwood restaurant, employee Walter Salazar-Aguilar, 24, of Carbondale attempted to cash a check for $2,000.
Salazar-Aguilar denied forging a check, but took off running when an officer paused to speak with the manager.
He was arrested April 21 for forgery and identity theft, both felonies, as well as misdemeanor theft, false reporting and criminal possession of a financial device.
Editor’s note: Crime Briefs are drawn from arrest affidavits and other public documents. Summonses or arrests indicate an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless found guilty in court.
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A brush fire caused by a propane tank explosion at a homeless encampment near the base of Red Hill outside Carbondale on Tuesday night was brought under control by local firefighters in fairly short order.