A Greeley man could very well spend up to 96 years in prison after being found guilty earlier this month for attempting to blow up a methanol tank back in 2019.

A news release from the Weld District Attorney’s Office said a worker at an active oil drilling site located near Missile Silo Park in unincorporated Weld County called officers on June 8, 2019 to report 64-year-old Stephen Garcia, who was seen acting suspicious on site.

Garcia had reportedly been holding a flare in his hand while standing near the oil tanks, which could have potentially held highly flammable and explosive gasses inside.

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According to the Greeley Tribune, the first officer who arrived on the scene witnessed Garcia trying to ignite the gasses in the tank; Garcia told the deputy he was going to blow up the tank and that she needed to leave him alone.

Law enforcement officers who responded to the 2019 incident were told by firefighters that Garcia's actions held the potential to cause a blast radius of up to a quarter of a mile, due to  the material being so highly explosive.

An incident of this caliber would've put crew members, residents, responding officers and other structures in the area in serious danger.

As Garcia continued to ignore commands from the responding officers on scene, they began discharging bean bag rounds from a shotgun at the suspect; however, the officers were unsuccessful in stopping Garcia from attempting to blow up the tank.

An officer on the scene wound up firing two rounds from his firearm in an effort to prevent a more dangerous outcome during the incident. Garcia was later taken into custody and to the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland for treatment after being shot in the jaw and shoulder.

Stephen Garcia was found guilty on three counts of first degree assault, criminal attempt to commit possession of an explosive or incendiary device and reckless endangerment.

He now faces 30 to 96 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections.

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