1st Annual Awards Ceremony

Images from the 1st Annual Awards Ceremony at the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office

High Risk Warrant Search Nets Fire Arms and Drugs

High-Risk Warrant Search Nets Firearms and Drugs

The Montrose County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) executed a high-risk search warrant yesterday in the 600 block of Spring Creek Road. The search uncovered an illegal quantity of suspected marijuana, a suspected marijuana concentrate lab, suspected methamphetamine, a stolen bicycle, one rifle, two handguns, drug paraphernalia, and possible evidence in an unrelated theft case being investigated by the MCSO. Six individuals were located in the residence; five individuals ultimately came out of the house. Martin Anthony Martinez was apprehended hiding under a bed at the residence and arrested on two known arrest warrants.

“This was a team effort,” said Lieutenant and SWAT Commander Ty Cox. “The MCSO had prior knowledge of both drug use at the residence and individuals who frequent the residence with known felony criminal activity to include firearms charges; that was the reason we decided to close Spring Creek Road and utilize both the MCSO’s and Montrose Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics Teams (SWAT). Today was a great example of quality law enforcement work from the initial investigation to the execution of the warrant.”

Last week, a deputy with the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop at South Selig Avenue and South Fourth Street. The stop uncovered two pounds of a liquid substance that tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine. Anthony Evans, was arrested for reckless driving, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving under revocation, expired license plates, no proof of insurance, felony eluding, open container in a vehicle, and additional warrants. After further investigation, the deputy was able to obtain a search warrant for today’s residence as the suspected drugs were linked back to the residence.

With the assistance of the Montrose Police Department’s SWAT team, Montrose County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, MontroseFire District, and Colorado State Patrol, the team was able to remove additional suspected drugs from the residence today. The MCSO would like to thanks its partners for their assistance in helping to make the community a safer place.

At this time, additional charges are pending further investigation by the MCSO and the High Impact Target Team.

Counties and Public Land Agencies Offer Friendly Reminders on Best Practices for Preventing Wildfires

For Immediate Release
October 18, 2019
Media Contacts:
Kimberlee Phillips, USFS PAO
(970) 874-6717
Katie Yergensen, Montrose County PIO
(970) 964-8701

Counties and Public Land Agencies Offer Friendly Reminders on Best Practices for Preventing Wildfires

Montrose,COLO.—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Gunnison, Uncompahgre and Tres Rios Field Offices; Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC); National Park Service (NPS), Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area; the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests; Colorado Parks and Wildlife; Hinsdale County; San Miguel County; Delta County; Gunnison County; Ouray County; and Montrose County would like to provide a few helpful reminders and tips for best practices to help prevent wildfires this fall.

The Cow Creek fire is currently burning in Ouray County, and while the cause of the fire remains under investigation officials would like to encourage the public to be mindful of fire safety. At this time there are no active fire restrictions within any of the above counties to include U.S. Forest Service managed land. County law enforcement, public land officials, and weather forecasters continue to monitor conditions to determine whether or not restrictions are necessary.

Recreational users on public lands and public engaging in agricultural burning should keep a few things in mind that can help prevent an unintentional wildfire. To reduce wildfire risk, please consider the following:

*Practicing proper vehicle maintenance; ensuring that tow chains are secured and a vehicle has no dragging parts, check tire pressure, and properly maintaining your brakes. Even chains dragging along the ground, such as those on ATVs, can spark fires.
*Park your vehicles/trailers and off-highway vehicles away from dry grass or brush.
*When target shooting taking a few simple precautions can prevent devastating results: place your target on dirt or gravel, switch to paper targets, avoid incendiary targets and exploding ammunition, bring a shovel and fire extinguisher, and report any fires by calling 911.
*Fireworks are never permitted on public lands.
*If you are camping and build a fire outside a designated fire ring make sure you clear the area of debris including, grasses and small vegetation. Clear your fire site perimeter approximately 10 feet in diameter and use rocks or a fire pan to contain your fire. Never leave a fire unattended and make sure that you completely put out your campfire before leaving your campsite. The act of leaving a camp fire unattended can result in a citation.
*Practice the drown, stir, feel method when extinguishing your campfire. Use water or dirt to douse the fire, stir the ashes and if necessary continue to add water or dirt until the fire is smothered.
*When smoking, always dispose of cigarette debris in an ashtray.
*Avoid driving and parking in tall grasses. Exhaust particles and hot exhaust pipes can start grass fires.
*Call your local non-emergency dispatch before and after agricultural burning and know open burning regulations in your area.

Even an accidental fire start can result in the individual being held responsible including fines and/or jail time. Visit One Less Spark (http://www.readyforwildfire.org/Prevent-Wildfire/) for more great tips on how to prevent wildfire and be prepared for fire season. To learn more about campfire safety visit www.smokeybear.com.

Before heading outside, be sure to “Know Before You Go!” Helpful information about planning your trip can be found on the “Know Before You Go” (https://www.fs.fed.us/visit/know-before-you-go). Regulations vary between land management agencies, learn what is permitted before you use fire.

Adhere to the Leave No Trace Principles (https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/) of outdoor ethics to leave your favorite spot ready for the next visitors to enjoy. Keep yourself safe while recreating outdoors by checking the weather before you go, taking the appropriate equipment including maps, carrying enough food and water, letting someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back, and utilizing suggested or required safety equipment. Local fire restriction information can be found online at: https://www.westslopefireinfo.com/.

For more information on the Cow Creek Fire, please visit fb.com/GMUGFireInfo
For more information on regulations for DFPC please visit: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dfpc
For more information on regulations for the BLM-Uncompahgre Field Office please visit: https://www.blm.gov/office/uncompahgre-field-office
For more information on regulations for the BLM-Tres Rios Field Office please visit: https://www.blm.gov/office/tres-rios-field-office
For more information on regulations for the NPS, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park please visit: https://www.nps.gov/blca/index.htm
For more information on regulations for the Curecanti National Recreation Area please visit: https://www.nps.gov/cure/index.htm
For more information on regulations for the GMUG please visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gmug/home/?cid=STELPRDB5420083


Motor Vehicle Fatalities Identified

Montrose, CO– On Sunday morning around 10:47, a double fatality motor-vehicle off-road incident occurred on Transfer Road at mile marker 8.5. Both passengers were ejected. Both the driver Harold W. Emick III, a 66-year-old male from Olathe, Colo., and his passenger Sharon A. Lunsford, a 65-year-old female from Pearland, Texas, were pronounced dead at the scene and subsequently transferred to the Forensic Science Laboratory at Montrose Memorial Hospital. The case is under investigation by the Montrose Coroner’s Office of Medical Investigations and the Colorado State Patrol assisted by the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office. Autopsies are scheduled and the cause and manner of death are pending the results of the autopsies.

STAT Partners to Offer Community Presentation on Salem-Keizer Threat Assessment Model

Montrose, COLO.—Montrose County School District RE1-J, Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, The Center for Mental Health, and the Montrose Police Department have partnered to bring the Salem-Keizer System of Assessing Student Threats to the region. The goal of the program is to provide regional school, law enforcement, and mental health providers a standardized process for threat assessment. The kick-off of this program creates a team of professionals—the Student Threat Assessment Team (STAT)—dedicated to creating a path of success for students at-risk. The community is invited to attend a presentation on the Salem-Keizer Threat Assessment System on Thursday from 9-11am at the Montrose County Event Center.

“This program places an emphasis on whole family health,” said Laura Byard, Regional Director for The Center for Mental Health. “Ongoing assessments will help families and students engage with services, break down barriers, and foster a collaborative effort for success.”

This week, professionals from across the region are receiving both Level I and Level II threat assessment training to learn how to complete a threat assessment. In the advanced training, team members will learn how to conduct an investigation and present the findings to the Student Threat Assessment Team. At a district level, trained professionals will be the eyes and ears for the program. In the event of a behavioral issue or indication of self-harm, case information will be gathered and look at the entire picture. Various indicators and questions will help determine the level of threat and work to establish supervision strategies and resources to help mitigate the threat and support the student. At that point, the team will meet to discuss the issues and determine a plan to help get the student back on a path to success.

“The threat assessments are critical to helping our youth and the community understand that the system is there to help support them. This is a community-oriented solution to a community problem. If students do not have the resources or a path for success in school, it is likely that law enforcement will eventually have contact with them as adults. The STAT wants to help work with these children when problems are first emerging to mitigate future issues. This threat assessment model is designed to help protect youth and the challenges many of them face today,” said Montrose County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Ted Valerio.

School District Director of Safety and Security, James Pavlich, echoed the sentiments regarding the importance of communication as he said, “In the past, a student at-risk either with behavior issues or suicidal indicators had the possibility to have several contacts with different agencies—school, mental health, and law enforcement. Each contact is often a cry for help and may not have been communicated to the other agencies, especially during summer months or in the years following graduation. This new system creates a team that meets to assess the student’s individual situation and factors that may be contributing to behavior issues, and creates a path back to success for the student.

Commander Matt Smith from the Montrose Police Department emphasized, “This system and training is a prevention-based model. It seeks to foster collaboration between community stakeholders, which is often a lacking component when addressing threats in our community. The most exciting aspects of this model for law enforcement are the front-end management of potential risks, and the supervision of those cases subsequent to their discovery.”

The program is presented by John Van Dreal, a school psychologist and director of security, safety, and risk management for the Salem-Keizer School District in Oregon. Mr. Van Dreal is an internationally recognized expert in threat assessment and a pioneer of multidisciplinary threat assessment. He has instructed and presented to education staff, mental health staff, and law enforcement officers from more than 300 educational institutions.

The community presentation will be held at the Montrose County Event Center (1036 7th Street) on Thursday, Sept. 12 from 9-11am. The presentation is free to the public and community leaders and organizers are encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be provided by the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office. The event will also be live-streamed on the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page (fb.com/MontroseCountySO).