Grand jury seated in Mesa County

A grand jury was seated Monday behind closed doors at the Mesa County Justice Center, although the county’s top prosecutor says there’s nothing yet on the agenda for the investigatory body.

“I’ve made no decisions as to any specific case at this point,” District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said.

Prospective panelists for the grand jury gathered at 1:30 p.m. in the courtroom of Mesa County Chief Judge David Bottger. “Grand Jury 2014” was listed on electronic court docket displays inside the Justice Center and the matter was assigned a criminal case number. Records associated with the case in question were sealed.

The front door of Bottger’s courtroom had a sign on it reading “closed hearing.”

Counties with populations greater than 100,000 people are required under state law to select grand juries, whose members commit to be available for work over the course of one year. Their work can be extended up to 18 months under special circumstances. The proceedings are secret under state law.

Presented only evidence from prosecution witnesses, grand juries can issue subpoenas to testify, deliver criminal indictments or draft reports.

Mesa County’s grand jury last year issued indictments against 36 people for involvement in a drug organization authorities said was led by Meeker restaurant owner Francisco Peralta-Cabral. The kingpin was sentenced last week to 32 years in prison.


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