Dog bags four on the lam
Bounty hunter finds Mesa County suspects in Denver area
Bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman is starting to make good on his promise to round up a dozen Mesa County fugitives wanted on a variety of methamphetamine-related charges.
Four Mesa County residents, all wanted on meth- or fraud-related warrants, are enjoying the hospitality of two Front Range jails as of Tuesday thanks to Chapman, star of A&E’s “Dog the Bounty Hunter” television show.
“So far, so good,” Chapman said. “We got very lucky.”
According to records from the Arapahoe County and Denver City jails, Lydia Marie Ramos, 26; Elizabeth Vaughn Willis, 20; Tedric Corell McCoy, 33; and Nick Evan Angel, 33, are all in custody on bonds totaling more than $144,000.
Willis and Angel are wanted in connection with a series of fraud cases involving thousands of dollars of fake checks passed at Mesa County grocery stores and restaurants.
Louie Perea, a captain with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department, said when Chapman contacted the suspects at an Aurora apartment they were in possession of several forged documents and equipment for making forged driver’s licenses and checks.
Chapman said he and his team’s work, capturing the suspected forgers, likely saved hundreds of Coloradans from having their identities stolen.
“It’s good versus evil, and good always wins,” he said.
Chapman’s big target, however — suspected drug dealer Marco Padilla — has eluded the bounty hunter and his crew.
Chapman said Padilla has two days to turn himself in, “or else.”
“We would rather have Padilla turn himself in to local authorities, wherever he is, or turn himself into myself,” Chapman said.
He said there still are eight fugitives on his list, which he alluded to during a stop in Grand Junction last week.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Dan Rubinstein declined to comment on Chapman’s work but confirmed Padilla is wanted on a series of drug-related charges as well as a $150,000 failure-to-appear warrant.
“Marco Padilla is a person that we’ve been after for drug offenses. … He failed to show up for a (November 2007) jury trial,” Rubinstein said.
He added Padilla is suspected of distributing methamphetamine and using children to “assist in a drug deal.”
Chapman’s moves in the Padilla case come less than a month after Mesa County District Court Judge Valerie
Robison issued an order extending the deadline for a St. Louis-based firm to pony up $75,000 in bail fees.
According to an order in Padilla’s 2007 case file, Robison delayed the due date for Safety National Casualty Corp. to Nov. 26.