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An unidentified Alamosa County man has been confirmed as the first person in Alamosa County to be infected by West Nile Virus in nine years. The man developed meningitis from the viral infection. He has already been treated at a hospital and has been released. The Alamosa County case was one of the rare instances in which exposure to the virus led to a brain-related illness. Only about 1% of all West Nile Virus cases end with meningitis or encephalitis. About 20% of those infected with the virus develop a fever, while the majority of those exposed to the virus will not have any illness or will exhibit only mild symptoms. In Colorado, there have been nine West Nile cases this year. Health officials recommend that the public drain any standing water around their home, check window screens and wear mosquito repellent, long sleeves and pants if outside at dusk or dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
15 suspects were arrested yesterday in Trinidad in connection with a months-long undercover drug investigation, according to Trinidad Police Chief Charles Glorioso. Glorioso said that the arrests followed numerous drug buys made by undercover police. Included in the purchases made were prescription pills, methamphetamine and cocaine. The suspects identified by police are: Filbert Aragon, 48; Gilbert Thomas Maes, 65; Betty Jo Esquibel, 43; Dennis Lloyd Montano, 39; Cleofus Sanchez, 60; Jude Anaya, 46; Julian Paul Duran, 59; Nicholas Gonzales, 33; Robert Wayne Sturgeon, 32; Mike Abeyta, 57; John Anthony Garcia, 58; Ronald Coleman, 64; Joey Dixon, 36; Yvonne Charlotte Duran, 56; and Faren Greathouse, 27. One suspect, Jacob Lee Ortiz, 25, remains at large.
At least 12 cars have been broken into in the greater Alamosa area this month, however, according to Alamosa Police Captain Robert Jackson, the vehicle owners are making the job easy. Jackson said yesterday that the unknown subject is committing first-degree criminal trespassing crimes and they are crimes of opportunity. Investigators have found that the vehicles broken into had valuables like computers, Ipads and purses visible from outside of the car and the owners had left their windows cracked or their doors unlocked. Authorities are seeking an arrest warrant to question Daniel Ontiveros, 23, a former Trinidad State Junior College student, about his alleged involvement with trespassing crimes recorded on the TSJC campus. Video surveillance helped identify Ontiveros as a possible suspect. He is currently on probation for a forgery crime in Costilla County. Other than on the TSJC campus, trespassing locations include State Avenue, San Juan Avenue, 8th Street, 14th Street, the Alamosa Recreation Center, First Street, Bell Avenue, Ross Avenue, West Avenue and Main Street.
Alamosa Police last week presented the case of the disappearance of Angelica Sandoval to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation Cold Case Review Unit at a meeting in Lakewood. The unit offered the investigators some advice and praised their efforts after being briefed on the case that has been ongoing since the night of February 23rd, 2011. Sandoval, who was 21 when she disappeared, had been washing clothes at an Alamosa laundromat with her 1-year-old daughter. After she returned home and took her daughter, a load of laundry and her cell phone inside, she returned to her car to gather her things, but never returned. Anyone with any information about Sandoval’s disappearance is encouraged to call San Luis Valley Crimestoppers at 719-589-4111.
The City of Monte Vista is replacing its main water line, sewer and storm drains on sections of U.S. 160 through town, during the work, expected to last until November 1st, motorist will encounter periodic nighttime lane closures, with single-lane alternating traffic from 6pm to 6am, Monday through Friday. Five to 10-minute delays can be expected. For more information regarding the work, call the city’s public works department at 719-852-2692.