Woman who died in jail identified

Brittany Matthews, 36, has been identified as the inmate who died after she was found unresponsive in the Mesa County Detention Facility on Thursday morning.

Toxicology is pending but there were no injuries found during the autopsy and it does not appear to be suspicious in nature, Mesa County Coroner Victor Yahn reported on Friday.

Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is overseeing the investigation.

Texas man guilty in Front Range poaching

Texas resident Raymond Muse, 50, agreed to a plea deal earlier this month, agreeing to pay in excess of $53,000 in fines for illegal hunting activities, Colorado Park and Wildlife reports.

Muse pleaded guilty to 11 misdemeanor charges, including possession of wildlife and hunting without a license, in Jefferson County District Court on December 5.

He was also sentenced to two years of supervised probation and a court-ordered suspension of all hunting, fishing and trapping related activities, CPW reports.

“We investigate crimes like this both to protect the wildlife of the state, but also to protect the interests of legal and ethical hunters here in Colorado,” said CPW Wildlife Officer Scott Murdoch, who worked the case. “We have a strong heritage in Colorado of hunting, fishing and trapping, that is what pays for wildlife conservation, but only when it is done right.”

CPW wildlife officers investigated reports of illegal hunting in the Conifer and Evergeen area for years.

The case was eventually made by a witness who observed an individual on his property, later identified as Muse, with what appeared to be a dead, headless elk in September 2018.

Through its investigation, CPW theorized Muse would drive around subdivisions in Conifer and Evergreen until he located an animal he wanted to kill. He would then stash his hunting equipment out of sight, park in a public area and ride his bicycle to the location where his gear was stashed.

CPW believe Muse killed as many as five elk (three of which were considered ‘trophies’ under Colorado law) and one deer.

For those that witness illegal poaching, CPW asks you call 1-877-COLO-OGT to report poaching in your area.

514 impaired drivers arrested in campaign

Law enforcement agencies across the state participated in a campaign to prevent drunk driving earlier this month.

‘The Heat is On’ campaign runs during very specific times of the year, with the most recent one taking place just before the holidays.

The 10-day enforcement period saw 514 impaired drivers arrested throughout Colorado, the state reports. The campaign saw a significant decrease from last year, where 727 drivers were arrested.

During the ‘Holiday Parties’ campaign, which ran from December 6 to December 16, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office reported four arrests while Colorado State Patrol Troop 4-A Fruita reported 12 arrests.

The next CDOT DUI enforcement campaign will be for the New Year’s Eve enforcement period from Dec. 27 to Jan. 2.

Plan for extra time during road trips

The Colorado Department of Transportation expects heavier than normal traffic in many areas across the state through the holidays.

Most CDOT construction projects will suspend lane closures.

Traffic on Interstate 70 west from Denver is expected to be heavy on Christmas Eve and the days following. Last year, Christmas week proved to be one of Colorado’s higher travel periods.

Nearly 300,000 vehicles were counted going through the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels during Christmas week last year.

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