Suspects Involved in Homicide and Robberies Identified
Two People are in Custody; Warrants Issued for Two Others
Case # 11-33812, 11-33769, 11-33727 and 11-33773
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo – After an intensive investigation, the Grand Junction Police Department has identified four suspects involved in the shooting that took place outside the Taco Bell on Saturday, July 16. The same group of people is also linked to two armed robberies and a burglary that took place in Grand Junction earlier that day.
Lester Miranda-Davis (DOB: 08-26-92) is currently being held in the Mesa County Jail on the charges listed below. Christian Fuentes (DOB: 06-01-91) is currently in custody in California on unrelated charges. He also has a GJPD warrant for the charges listed below in connection with our investigation. Warrants have also been issued for two other suspects, Jaime Cardenas (DOB: 08-14-91) and Fidel Silva (DOB: 05-19-87), who are currently at large, however we have reason to believe they have left Colorado. As soon as investigators are at a point where releasing photos of the suspects would not jeopardize the investigation, we will do so.
Because this is an ongoing investigation, the courts have sealed the case. Further information will be released at a time when doing so would not jeopardize it.
It is important for the community to know that we believe the four incidents that took place last Saturday were all committed by the same group of suspects. Moreover, we currently believe that the suspects are either in custody or currently out of our area. Detectives are working closely with other law enforcement partners to locate the two suspects who are still outstanding.
If anyone has additional information about this incident or the whereabouts of the two suspects still at large they can call the Grand Junction Police Department at 242-6707, call Crime Stoppers at 241-STOP, send the information via the web at www.241stop.com, or text CRIMES to 241STOP and include your tip information. The identity of the person providing the information will remain anonymous.
Lester Miranda-Davis: 1st deg.burglary, felony theft, aggravated robbery, felony menacing (3 counts), theft, 1st deg. Murder, attempted 1st deg. Murder (2 counts), 1st deg. Assault (3 counts)
Christian Fuentes: 1st deg. Burglary (2 counts), felony theft (2 counts), aggravated robbery (2 counts), felony menacing (5 counts), misdemeanor theft, 1st deg. Murder, attempted 1st deg. Murder (2 counts), 1st deg. Assault (3 counts)
Jaime Cardenas: 1st deg. Burglary (2 counts), felony theft (2 counts), aggravated robbery (2 counts), felony menacing (5 counts), misdemeanor theft, 1st deg. Murder, attempted 1st deg. Murder (2 counts), 1st deg. Assault (3 counts)
Fidel Silva: 1st deg. Burglary (2 counts), felony theft (2 counts), aggravated robbery (2 counts), felony menacing (5 counts), misdemeanor theft, 1st deg. Murder, attempted 1st deg. murder (2 counts), 1st deg. Assault (3 counts)
Advance America Cash Advance Photos
Liquor Store Surveillance Photos
We are continuing to follow up on leads and information gathered during our investigations of two armed robberies that took place on Saturday, July 16. At this time we are trying to identify and locate the suspect or suspects involved in the Advance America Cash Advance (2502 U.S. Highway 6 & 50) and Teller Arms Liquor (2353 Belford Avenue) robberies.
Victims of both robberies described the suspect(s) as a Hispanic male, approximately 5’8″ with a thin to medium build, a mustache, and may have had acne scarring around his mouth. The witnesses from the liquor store robbery also believe the suspect had at least one accomplice, driving a small light colored sedan, possibly a Chrysler Sebring. Surveillance photos from both crimes are included in this news release. We recognize the similarities in the descriptions of the suspects from each case, however we do not have enough information at this point to conclusively say they are linked.
If anyone has information about this incident they can call the Grand Junction Police Department at 242-6707, call Crime Stoppers at 241-STOP, send the information via the web at www.241stop.com, or text CRIMES to 241STOP and include your tip information. Crime Stoppers allows people to provide information anonymously.
When you ask someone what a person who works for the police department does, you’ll likely get a response of “they arrest people” or “they write tickets.” We can’t argue with that. But, with 180 employees within the Grand Junction Police Department, both civilian and sworn, there are many folks here who do amazing things for our community and our police department- beyond just making arrests or issuing tickets. We want you to know about some of these people. We hope you’ll enjoy this insight into some of the work being done as we answer “What Else Do They Do?”
The Flamin Coconuts and the Cops Against Cancer 2011 Relay for Life teams
Cops, 911 Dispatchers, and the numerous civilians who make up our local law enforcement agencies are busy people. This post isn’t about preaching about how tough their jobs can be and how hard they work, rather it’s about the dedication these people have to the community they live in and how much they are willing to give back on their own time.
June was a particularly impressive month. Take the annual Fruita and Grand Junction Relay for Life events to raise money for the American Cancer Society, for example. The events require teams to have at least one representative walking on the track during the entire 17-hour events. The “Flamin Coconuts”, a team made up of 911 dispatchers and friends raised more than $1300 for the Fruita event. “Cops Against Cancer”, a team made up of area law enforcement agencies raised more than $2600 for the Grand Junction Relay for Life.
“Being a part of Relay gives you the opportunity to be around others who are battling cancer and others who have had that loss in their lives,” said O’Leary. “It was my first year walking the survivor lap and it was an inspiring moment for me. Then there was the lighting of the luminarias, which is a solemn event where we honor those lost and those fighting. I have never had an experience like it and it left me with new hope for a better tomorrow.”
There are others in our department who have also been personally touched by the causes they supported last month. For “Flamin Coconuts” Team Captain Cozett Davis, the team formed in honor of a fellow dispatcher that is a cancer survivor, as well as a dispatcher that cared for her husband until his passing due to cancer, and for others who have lost loved ones to cancer.
“It brought us as a group together, doing what we could for the cause,” she said. “This was something new for us, we have never been involved in anything like this before. Next year we hope to raise more and get more dispatchers and families involved.”
The charity fundraising didn’t end with the two relays. A charity go-kart race last month ended up raising money for Wounded Warriors, while also honoring true heroes in our community. And then came the arrests, although the GJPD employees who were cuffed were happy to be thrown in the slammer in this case. The annual Muscular Distrophy Association’s “Lockup” put several of our employees behind bars, forcing them to work the phones to raise enough “bail money” to spring them free. These events combined to raise hundreds more dollars for our community.
As you can see we’ve been up to a lot more than just writing tickets, although we’re still out on the streets patrolling and detectives are still piecing together clues to solve crimes. And that’s just for June; we still have a lot of activities planned for this summer and fall before we start gearing up for our annual holiday activities that benefit a number of the kids in the Grand Valley.
“Being able to share with others and to work along side hundreds who are fighting the same fight you are is a miracle to see. If just one dollar of what we raised helps one life, it’s completely worth it,” adds O’Leary.
Come out and see us at the August 11th Farmer’s Market on Main St. for a “Touch-a-Truck” event. We’ll be bringing all of our special unit vehicles for you to climb in and out of, as well as important safety information. Hope to see you there!
It’s Time to Sign Up for National Night Out 2011
Throughout the year local reporters will be working on stories related to some sort of crime that has happened in a neighborhood, be it a series of burglaries, vandalism, assaults, or a gamut of other topics. Thankfully, Grand Junction remains a relatively safe place to live and raise a family, but that doesn’t mean we are completely crimes free. That fact leads reporters to frequently ask, “What can people do to prevent these crimes?”
While a 100% guaranteed, sure-fire way to prevent you from becoming a victim of crime doesn’t exist, there are ways to dramatically lower your risk. One of those prevention tools is coming up in August, and registration is already underway.
Neighborhoods across the City of Grand Junction are getting ready for this year’s National Night Out. The 28th annual event is being held on the evening of August 2nd, and signing up to host an event in your neighborhood is easy; just head to http://www.gjcity.org/ and look for the National Night Out link, or call 244-3630. You can even check to see if someone is already planning to host an event in your neighborhood and get great tips on how to make your event a huge success!
National Night Out is a nationwide, annual event in which people are encouraged to turn on their outside lights, lock their doors, and head outdoors to spend time with their neighbors and to promote safety and crime prevention in their neighborhoods. Police officers and fire fighters make the rounds that night, stopping by each event to answer questions from neighbors and give advice on how to keep the criminals out of your neighborhood. But the cops and fire fighters are only an added bonus. One of the best ways to keep the crooks out is simply to get to know your neighbors. If you know who is and isn’t supposed to be in your neighborhood, and if you watch out for your neighbors and they watch out for you, then you are taking great steps to making your piece of the City safer. A lot of crimes are prevented because a neighbor notices something on their street that doesn’t seem quite right and that person calls 911 to report it.
Not only does National Night Out help people prevent crime, it’s a lot of fun too. Grand Junction neighborhoods tend to plan a lot of great activities for kids and adults alike. In te past we seen events ranging from cookouts, to bump-n-jumps, to ice cream socials. We’d love to see what you and your neighborhood are up to this year!
What: 28th annual National Night Out
When: The evening of August 2nd
Where: In neighborhoods across Grand Junction
How: Sign up at http://www.gjcity.org/ or call 244-3630
Summer is officially here, and the long, warm nights are welcoming lots of fun activities in Grand Junction. Unfortunately for some area young people, those activities are coming at a heavy price. Already this month the GJPD had responded to two serious accidents involving young people. In both, alcohol is suspected of playing a role in the crashes.
On Sunday, June 12 a 19-year-old rolled his vehicle on I-70, ejecting him from the car. He sustained serious injuries. On Monday, June 13, two young adults, ages 20 and 19, were seriously injured after the driver crashed the vehicle they were in into a tree near the intersection of Greenbelt Ct. and South Rim Dr. Investigation of both of these crashes led officers to believe the drivers were under the influence of alcohol when they crashed.
“Summer is just heating up, and unfortunately for some area young people, their decisions to include alcohol with driving have come very close to taking their lives,” said GJPD Traffic Sgt. Doug Norcross. “With more events where alcohol is served still to come, including Country Jam this week, we hope everyone plays it safe and smart. Drinking and driving can be deadly.”
Drivers also need to remember that we are in the middle of “100 Days of Heat.” Local law enforcement agencies, including the GJPD, have stepped up their efforts to catch drunken drivers, and DUI checkpoints are scheduled for the area throughout the summer. The public is also encouraged to call 911 if they see a person they suspect is driving drunk.