Attempted Explosion Leads to 30-Year Sentence for 65-Year-Old Weld County Man
In 2019, Greeley Police officers - along with Weld County Sheriff's Office deputies and Colorado State Patrol officers - responded to suspiciously dangerous activity at an oil drilling site in Weld County, near Missile Silo Park.
65-year-old Stephen Garcia was found near flammable and explosive materials with a flare and threatened deputies when they arrived on the scene.
In today's release from the Weld County District Attorney detailing Garcia's sentencing, Garcia was reportedly verbally warned several times of the damage a potential explosion with the materials he possessed would cause.
After these verbal attempts to deescalate the situation, officers discharged bean bag rounds from a shotgun, which were unsuccessful, which then resulted in an officer discharging his firearm.
While Garcia was hit twice by the rounds - once in the jaw and once in the shoulder - he was treated and recovered in Loveland at the Medical Center of the Rockies.
In addition, Garcia was also reportedly on methamphetamine during the 2019 incident, according to Deputy District Attorney Chris Jewkes. DA Jewkes commented on the difficulty and severity of the situation in the press release, saying:
While I sympathize with people who struggle with mental health issues, our job is to protect the community from people who put others at risk...It truly is a miracle that everone walked away from what could have been a deadly incident.
Garcia was sentenced in June 2020 by a jury that found him guilty on the following counts:
- three counts of first-degree assault
- criminal attempt to commit possession of an explosive or incendiary device
- reckless endangerment
Garcia will serve the next three decades in the Colorado Department of Corrections.