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Sheriff’s Office expects additional arrests in theft and drug cases

by Eric Mullens

WALSENBURG — Search warrants executed by the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office in relation to a theft of an emergency radio from Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center has lead to a wider investigation concerning additional stolen property and drug trafficking.

In a press release, Huerfano Sheriff Bruce Newman said, “On May 4, 2016 the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office executed two search warrants in Walsenburg. The search warrants were in relation to a stolen radio from the hospital emergency room.” Newman said the police radio belongs to the medical center.

“The first warrant was at an address on West 4th St., in Walsenburg where the radio was recovered along with some heroin. We also discovered some items from a burglary that had occurred in the city at 100 Capitol Hill Drive,” Newman said.

Sean Garlutzo, 28, was arrested in connection with the theft and was booked into the county jail on May 4 and is being held on a $3,000 cash only bond. Garlutzo will appear in District Court in Walsenburg at 1:30 pm today (Thursday, May 12) as formal charges are filed in this case.

Newman said the discovery of the stolen items at the West 4th Street residence lead deputies to apply for another search warrant concerning a home on Tyler Avenue that same day. “During this search,” Newman said, “a large amount of stolen items from the same burglary was recovered along with more heroin and some items from another burglary.” The press release said Vanessa Montez was arrested in connection with the Tyler Avenue raid. Sheriff Newman said on May 6 an additional search warrant was served at a residence in the 100 block of East Elm St., Walsenburg, where more stolen items were recovered. He said there is a possible arrest pending following execution of this search warrant.

“These search warrants resulted in thousands of dollars of stolen items being recovered, along with heroin, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. This case is still under investigation and more arrests are expected,” Newman.

Five additional individuals were arrested Tuesday night, May 10 at the Tyler Avenue address when sheriff’s deputies checked the home for Ramon Baros, who was wanted on two outstanding warrants. Sheriff Newman told the World Journal Wednesday, deputies had been at the home last week looking for Baros, and told two people who were at the home that Baros was wanted. When deputies observed people in the home around 10:30 pm Tuesday, they notified the home owner (who was working out of town) and received permission to enter. Baros was arrested on the outstanding warrants and the two individuals who were at the home last week were arrested on charges of harboring a fugitive. The home owner told authorities the couple found inside the home did not have permission to be inside, but had been living in a van parked in back of the residence.

While inside the home deputies saw a crack pipe in plain view and additional stolen property from the Capitol Hill Drive home of former Walsenburg Mayor Edi Sheldon, including items with her name on them.

Deputies also found two other individuals staying in a tent on the Tyler Avenue property and observed drug paraphernalia in plain view in the tent. Both of those individuals were arrested on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and the tent was secured as deputies worked to obtain a search warrant for it that was executed mid-week. Stewart Montez was one of the persons arrested in connection with the harboring a fugitive charge and Jessie Chamberlain was one of the persons arrested on drug paraphernalia possession charges in relation to the tent on the Tyler Avenue property. The other subject’s arrested names were not confirmed at press deadline.

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