High Country Crime: Vail Valley man allegedly committed arson three days after his release from jail
April 1, 2018
A Vail Valley man had been out of jail three days when he allegedly set two fires in a Beaver Creek building.
Spencer Sterling is now back in the Eagle County jail.
Sterling is accused of causing about $30,000 in damages when he allegedly set fires in the offices of the Post Montane and Blue Moose Pizza in Beaver Creek. No one was injured.
Sterling is being held on $30,000 bond.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Joe Kirwan called Sterling a danger to the community, arguing against Sterling's bond being reduced in a hearing this week.
Sterling was released from the Eagle County jail on Dec. 5, 2017. On Dec. 9, 2017, he was spotted on several security cameras around Beaver Creek, the same day the fires were set.
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Between 2 and 3:35 a.m. Dec. 9, Sterling was seen on security video wandering down a hallway and spraying something on door handles. Eagle County Sheriff's detectives discovered that an oily substance had been sprayed on door handles. It also appeared that holes had been knocked in the drywall to gain access to the office, according to the arrest affidavit.
At 3:35 a.m., a security camera was covered after being sprayed with something, according to the arrest affidavit. Six minutes later, the fire alarm went off.
Sterling told detectives that he had been staying at a Ramada in north Denver and had paid cash for the room.
Detectives built their case for a few more days and arrested Sterling.
He will be back in court May 8 for a preliminary hearing.
-Randy Wyrick, the Vail Daily
Party remnants at Aspen hotel lead to drug charge
An apparent coke and booze party at Aspen's only five-star hotel Friday night, March 23, led to a Tennessee man's arrest on a felony drug charge, according to court documents.
David Lee, 24, of Memphis, told police the cocaine found on a table in his room at The Little Nell was not his, though a baggie containing more than a gram of the drug was found among his personal items at the jail after he was arrested Saturday afternoon, according to an affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.
Aspen police were called to the hotel after 4 p.m. Saturday when a housekeeper reported entering the room and discovering an unresponsive woman lying under a blanket on the floor, the affidavit states. The woman later fled when the housekeeper made contact with her.
A white powder was on the surface of a table in the room along with numerous alcohol containers. An initial test indicated the powder was cocaine, the affidavit states.
Along with two small straws, two metal spoons and a rolled up $20 bill, police also found Lee's Tennessee driver's license on the table, according to the court document.
Lee showed up at the room with a friend when police were present, said the drugs were not his and that he'd had about 10 people over the previous night and did not know who the cocaine belonged to, the affidavit states. Lee's friend then told him not to say anything else and he declined to allow police to search the room.
Later, at the jail, a baggie containing a white powder fell out of Lee's personal items in a plastic bin. The powder tested positive for cocaine, the affidavit states.
Lee was charged with felony cocaine possession and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
-Jason Auslander, The Aspen Times
Foot chase leads to arrest in east Glenwood Springs backyard
Area law enforcement surrounded a guesthouse in the Bennett Avenue neighborhood east of downtown Glenwood Springs Thursday afternoon, March 29, making a successful arrest involving a man wanted on several burglary and theft charges out of Rifle.
Glenwood Springs Police confronted the suspect, Deven Arlington-Hernandez, 24, of Rifle, who had an active arrest warrant, near the Glenwood Library around 1:30 p.m. Thursday and attempted to make an arrest.
"He bolted, and the chase was on," Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson said. Officers tracked him to the 800 block of Bennett and brought in reinforcements from Glenwood and the Garfield County Sheriff's Office, he said.
Wilson said people were advised to stay inside until the situation settled down. Glenwood's K-9 unit was called in, and the dog traced a scent to a guest house in one of the back yards.
The owners, who were out of town on spring break, were notified and gave permission for police to enter the residence, he said.
"We were in the process of picking the lock, when [Arlington-Hernandez] realized the game was up and came down the stairs and surrendered himself," Wilson said.
The incident lasted about 45 minutes, he said. "Between the sheriff's office and our guys, it went pretty seamlessly. It was a testament to our training and working together," Wilson said.
Arlington-Hernandez was booked into the Garfield County Jail on charges including second-degree burglary and theft of less than $20,000, a class five felony, stemming from the earlier Rifle incident. Additional arrest charges included first-degree criminal trespass, resisting arrest and obstructing a police officer.
-John Stroud, Glenwood Springs Post-Independent
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