‘Dog’ bags three, top meth figure still at large | SummitDaily.com

‘Dog’ bags three, top meth figure still at large

mesa county correspondent

GRAND JUNCTION ” Duane “Dog” Chapman has arrested four people on Mesa County warrants in the Denver area, but his top target remains at large.

Marco Antonio Padilla, 32, an alleged player in the region’s meth-distribution trade who skipped town nine months ago while free on $75,000 bond, was believed to have fled to the Denver area several months ago.

Chapman’s crew on Sept. 3 swept into the Mesa County Justice Center for copies of arrest warrants before heading back to the Front Range.

So far, he has apprehended:

– Elizabeth Vaughn Willis, 20.

– Lydia Marie Ramos, 26.

– Nick Evan Angel, 33.

– Tedric Corell McCoy, 33.

The four are being held at jails in Denver and Arapahoe County.

“These are people he’s bumping into who just happen to be wanted on Mesa County warrants,” said chief deputy district attorney Dan Rubinstein.

Court records suggest Chapman was hired by Safety National Casualty Corp., a St. Louis, Mo.-based insurance company which was on the hook for Padilla’s $75,000 bond.

After months of legal wrangling on whether the company would have to forfeit the money, District Judge Valerie Robison on Aug. 28 granted an extension ” and more time to search for Padilla.

The judge “stayed” execution of judgment against Safety National until Nov. 28.

Padilla, who had been charged in an eight-count complaint including felony conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and a sentence-enhancing special offender charge, failed to appear for trial in Mesa County on Nov. 26, 2007, according to court records.

Robison issued a new warrant for Padilla’s arrest and set bond at $150,000.

Padilla’s bondsman has criticized the judge’s handling of Padilla’s case.

Robison said a judgment of $75,000 would issue against Safety National Casualty if Padilla wasn’t brought in by Nov. 28.

Altogether, Padilla is wanted on five active arrest warrants ” the combined bond is $155,700.

Aside from his 2007 felony drug case, the warrants include three traffic violations and a separate 2007 felony case for false reporting.

Padilla, formerly a car salesman a Grand Junction dealership, was arrested in April 2007 on a Drug Task Force warrant after Padilla allegedly drove to Delta’s Wal-Mart Supercenter for a drug deal, according to court records.

Officers were tipped in advance the car Padilla was riding in was enroute to pick up a half-pound of meth. Smaller quantities were allegedly found during the arrests of three men, including Padilla.

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