On Sunday, June 2, shortly before 3:00pm, officers with the Grand Junction Police Department were dispatched to a report of an explosion at 1600 North Avenue. Upon arrival, officers located a backpack just outside of a door to the building. In the hallway to the business complex, officers saw what appeared to be damage from a shotgun blast to the ceiling. Officers learned an employee of one of the businesses in the complex had moved the backpack outside after observing smoke coming from one of the pockets after the explosion.
While investigating the incident, officers contacted a male in the area who had obvious injuries to his arm. After obtaining initial medical clearance from EMTs with the Grand Junction Fire Department, the male was detained and transported to the Grand Junction Police Department. The male indicated that when he set his backpack down while inside the business complex, an improvised firearm in the backpack, sometimes referred to as a “zip gun,” unexpectedly discharged, causing the explosion and injuries to his arm.
The Grand Junction Bomb Team, comprised of representatives of the Grand Junction Police Department and the Grand Junction Fire Department, responded to the scene to investigate. Two improvised firearms were located in a backpack. The Bomb Squad was able to render the devices safe.
The suspect, identified as Emmett Wells, 36, was transported to the hospital for follow up medical care. Upon release, he will be transported to the Mesa County Detention Facility, where he will be booked on the following charges:
- 18-12-108 Possession of Weapons by Previous Offender (F6)
- 18-12-107.5(1) Illegal Discharge of a Firearm (F5)
- 18-12-106(1)(b) Prohibited Use (M2)
- 18-12-105(1)(b) Unlawfully Carrying a Concealed Weapon (M2)
No booking photo is available at this time.
More than a dozen public safety personnel worked on this incident for several hours. North Avenue was blocked in both directions, and several residents and employees of adjacent businesses in the area were displaced while the situation was made safe. We appreciate the patience and cooperation of everyone affected while we investigated.
The area around the 1600 Block of North Avenue where an explosion occurred earlier this afternoon has been opened back up. North Avenue is now open in both directions. Our bomb team has completed their operation and the suspicious item has been rendered safe and collected for investigation and evidence. There will be a continued police presence in the area; now that the scene is safe, detectives and evidence technicians will process the incident location and collect evidence. The adult male who was injured in this incident is still detained and charges may be forthcoming. Additional information on a possible arrest will be released as they are available. We thank the public, residents, and business owners in the area for their patience and cooperation. Your safety is imperative to us, and that sometimes comes at a cost of convenience. We’re grateful for your support as we do our jobs.
The Grand Junction Police Department responded to a report of a possible explosion inside a business complex in the 1600 Block of North Avenue shortly after 3pm today. Adjacent businesses were evacuated and North Avenue is closed in both direction from 15th Street to 18th Street. While investigating in the area, officers contacted one adult male with injuries who was medically cleared by EMTs on scene. No other injuries have been reported. Residents in the immediate area were advised of the incident and a safety perimeter has been established. The bomb team has responded to evaluate the source of the explosion. They have retrieved the suspicious item and will render it safe at a later time. At this time the injured individual has been detained and is being interviewed about this incident. Officers were able to obtain security footage of the incident from inside the business. The extent of the structural damage to the building is unknown at this time. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.
MESA COUNTY, Colo – Over the course of two days this week, the Western Colorado Drug Task Force, which is comprised of investigators with the Grand Junction Police Department and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, made nine felony arrests, and seized over 80 pounds of illegal narcotics, including heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana. In a single arrest alone, over 60 pounds of methamphetamine and a firearm were seized. The WCDTF was assisted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the Street Crimes and Crime Reduction Units of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, K9 units with the Grand Junction Police Department, the Assistant United States Attorney’s Office, and the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center.
The arrestees are as follows:
Ausberto Baez-Rivera, 28, of California, arrested for Possession with Intent to Distribute (DF1), Special Circumstances (two counts) (DF1), Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance (DF4), Possession of Marijuana (DF4), and Obstructing Government Operations (M3);
Oscar Rodriguez-Gonzalez, 32, of California, arrested for Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance (DF4) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia;
Nina Marinova, 35, of New York, arrested for Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance (DF4) and Tampering with Physical Evidence (F6);
Jennifer Milam, 48, of California, arrested for Possession with Intent to Distribute (DF2), Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance (DF4), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia;
Ronald Gargano, 56, of California, arrested for Possession with Intent to Distribute (DF2), Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance (DF4), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia;
Kerry Ngo, 24, of California, arrested for Possession with Intent to Distribute (DF1) and Special Circumstances (DF1);
Carlos Rosales, 26, of California, arrested for Possession with Intent to Distribute (DF1), Special Circumstances (DF1), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia;
Daniel Luquin, 23, of Aurora, arrested for Possession with Intent to Distribute (DF1), Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance (DF4), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia;
Angie Sierra-Guerrero, 23, of Aurora, arrested for Possession with Intent to Distribute (DF1), Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance (DF4), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Sergeant Jason Sawyer of the Grand Junction Police Department, who is currently assigned to the Western Colorado Drug Task Force, says, “With the hard work of 25-30 people, this two-day operation was one of the most productive interdiction operations I have been involved in. I am grateful for the hours and extra work that went into making this a success.”
The Western Colorado Drug Task Force is a partnership established in the early 1980s between the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Adminstration, the Grand Junction Police Department, and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. The Task Force is designed to fight the battles of drugs on the front lines and other crimes that go with dealing and using drugs. Grand Junction Police Chief Doug Shoemaker and Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis agree that this Task Force is effective and nationally competitive in the law enforcement field when it comes to knowledge, experience, and teamwork. The Drug Task Force provides a refined level of service to the law abiding citizens of Mesa County and across the Western Slope.
At 6:42pm on Saturday, March 23rd, deputies with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a residence in the 2900 Block of Bunting Avenue on a report of a suicidal male with a gun. Deputies arrived on scene and located the adult male, who was holding a shotgun. During the incident, deputies fired shots at the male, who then retreated back inside the residence. The male was ultimately found inside the home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The male was pronounced dead at the scene.
As with all officer involved shootings in Mesa County, the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team, comprised of representatives of the Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Fruita Police Department, Palisade Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Colorado State Parole, and Colorado Bureau of Investigation, was responsible for the investigation of this incident.
The CIRT investigation was completed and turned over to the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office. All deputies involved in this incident have returned to work. District Attorney Dan Rubinstein has completed his review of the investigation, and and his findings can be reviewed here.
The Grand Junction Police Department needs your help to identify and locate the
suspects involved in criminal activity.
On Sunday, May 19th just after 1:30 a.m., Officers responded to a report of a fight
in the 400 block of Main Street. Witnesses on scene advised they heard shots
fired from a large group of Hispanic males fighting. One of the males got pushed
through the window of Colorado Graphx located at 419 Main Street. Officers
found property damage that appeared to have been made by the bullets. The
total estimated property damage is over $20,000.
If you know the identity or whereabouts of the suspects involved in this crime,
please contact Crime Stoppers at 241-7867. Information reported to Crime
Stoppers that leads to an arrest can earn you up to $1,000 cash reward and
you will remain completely anonymous. For more information, see us at
An arrest has been made in relation to Tuesday night’s incident, which resulted in the activation of the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team.
Cyrus Costello, 18, of Grand Junction, was remanded to the Mesa County Detention Facility on charges of 1st Degree Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft (F4), 1st Degree Criminal Trespass of an Auto (F5), Vehicular Eluding (F3), and Obstructing a Peace Officer (M2). Costello was the driver of the stolen vehicle in last night’s incident. There is no booking photo available of Costello at this time. The affidavit for Costello’s arrest has been sealed by the Court.
The two adult female passengers have been released without charges at this time. This investigation is ongoing.
A previous release related to this incident follows below.
Shortly before 10:00pm on Tuesday night, troopers with the Colorado State Patrol attempted a traffic stop on a silver minivan in the area of 28 ¼ Road and Orchard Avenue for reckless driving. The driver of the minivan eluded the traffic stop, resulting in a collision with a Colorado State Patrol vehicle. No troopers were injured in the collision. The minivan fled from the scene. Troopers pursued the vehicle and it was ultimately detained in the area of Cortina Court. The occupants, an adult male and two adult females, were taken into custody. The minivan was later determined to be stolen and a handgun was found in the vehicle. During the arrest, a trooper’s firearm was discharged. No one was injured. The driver and occupants of the vehicle are in the custody of law enforcement and are being interviewed. Law enforcement is not looking for any additional suspects.
As with all officer involved shootings in Mesa County, the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team, which is comprised of representatives of the Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Fruita Police Department, Palisade Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Colorado State Parole, and Colorado Bureau of Investigation, is responsible for the investigation of this incident.
Law enforcement continues to process the scene of this incident for additional evidence. Residents in the area may see an increased presence of law enforcement personnel over the next several hours. Members of the Critical Incident Response Team will conduct interviews of all involved persons in this case, as well as any potential witnesses, over the coming days. Additional details will be released as appropriate, including the names of the involved CSP troopers, with sensitivity to the ongoing investigation.
Anyone who heard or witnessed this incident, as well as anyone who has security cameras that may have captured all or part of these events, is encouraged to contact the Investigations Unit of the Grand Junction Police Department at (970)549-5228 to speak with a detective.