COLORADO SPRINGS — Three adults have been arrested along with several minors in connection with a series of violence and planned burglaries in El Paso County.
According to a press release sent by the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD), the arrests are the result of more than a year of investigations and undercover work by the Strategic Investigations Unit (SIU) of the CSPD. The investigation began in December 2021, when the SIU investigated a “pattern of crimes” committed by a group of minors involved in a local gang called “P-Block”.
The underage suspects were not named in the statement due to their age. Instead, they are identified as “Suspect 1”, “Suspect 2”, and “Suspect 3”.
The investigation began when Suspect 1 contacted undercover detectives on social media, asking them to help him steal weapons from a gun store. The suspect asked detectives to provide him with a firearm and tools to break glass.
The suspect was arrested on December 21, 2021 during a meeting arranged with the undercover detectives and was found to have a handgun in his possession. He was released on bail and did not appear in court.
In January 2022, Suspect 1 and two other minors identified as Suspects 2 and 3 drove to a fight near Panorama Middle School. During the scuffle, the suspects pointed several guns at children and threatened to kill them. A fourth minor suspect has been identified as having organized the fight with the intention of starting an armed confrontation.
In February, Suspects 1 and 3 attempted to steal a car from a residential driveway and were confronted by the owner of the car, and Suspect 1 pointed a gun at the owner and threatened to kill him. A week later, CSPD officers attempted to stop the stolen car, but the suspects eluded officers. Further investigation into the incident revealed that the suspects recorded themselves fleeing and pointed a handgun at the officer as they fled.
The three underage suspects were arrested in March on outstanding warrants, along with new charges ranging from conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary and motor vehicle theft to assaulting a police officer and complicity in attempted first degree murder.
Through lab testing, the weapons recovered from the minors were also linked to several other crimes, including an unsolved attempted murder in January 2022, in which suspects 2 and 3 allegedly attempted to rob the victim and shot the victim. victim’s car as he attempted to flee. The victim was grazed by a bullet during the incident.
During follow-up investigations, detectives learned that several adults assisted the minors by providing them with weapons and transportation, as well as concealing and tampering with evidence and helping them avoid police.
One of the adults, Evan Hill, 35, was contacted by SIU detectives. Believing that the detectives were minors, Hill allegedly solicited them to engage in child prostitution in exchange for firearms and narcotics. In July 2022, a search warrant was served at a location on the 200 block of Longfellow Drive, just southeast of Academy Boulevard and Pikes Peak Avenue.
During the search, Hill was arrested and detectives recovered six firearms, two of which were stolen and one which had been defaced. Two other adult suspects have been identified: Heather Marquez, 37, and April Beese, 42.
Marquez and Beese were also taken into custody and face multiple charges, including providing a minor with a handgun and contributing to a minor’s delinquency, among other charges.