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Undocumented immigrant on parole accused of breaking into a home in Teller County

TELLER COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) - The Teller County Sheriff is sounding the alarm on the alleged criminal behavior of a man who's been charged with breaking into a home in Teller County over the weekend, and then igniting a 24-hour-long search for him. Sheriff Jason Mikesell says the suspect, 40-year-old Edgar Saenz Lopez, should not have been on the streets of his county in more ways than one.

According to arrest documents obtained by KRDO13 Investigates, Teller County deputies were called to County Road 21, just off Highway 24 in Woodland Park. A homeowner reported that their home had been broken into while they were there, including showing deputies security camera video of a Hispanic male peering into her home.

Deputies were able to identify the suspect as Edgar Saenz Lopez because he was involved in a traffic stop earlier that day. After attempting to catch him a short time later, the suspect was able to evade deputies but was caught in a creek bed on May 25.

Saenz Lopez has been charged with multiple counts of second-degree burglary, criminal mischief, and obstructing a police officer. After his arrest, Sheriff Mikesell says he has discovered two facts about Saenz Lopez that bring him cause for concern: Saenz Lopez is on parole, which is early release from prison, and he is in the United States illegally.

"He's terrorizing another community, and my hope is that he'll stay and violate his parole this time and he'll go back to prison. I have no belief that will happen in the state anymore. We're seeing it in a lot of our violent cases," Sheriff Mikesell said.

KRDO13 Investigates has uncovered that Saenz Lopez was convicted of exactly what he is charged with doing in Teller County, burglary, back in 2019 in Eagle County, Colorado. He was handed multiple 8-year prison sentences, and one 6-year sentence as well in 2020. He was back on the streets within three years.

We know this because he was convicted of another crime in Lake County, Colorado in 2023. In that case, he was charged with felony car theft. He accepted a plea deal and was convicted of misdemeanor theft. Mikesell has taken issue with the fact that his parole was not revoked and he was not sent back to prison after that conviction.

"What really bothers me is the state of Colorado is releasing people that are now victimizing communities over and over and over again," Mikesell said.

KRDO13 Investigates reached out to the Colorado Department of Corrections to understand why Saenz Lopez was not revoked back to prison after that conviction. They said he was revoked by the Colorado Parole Board, but was given 180 days of credit for time served and was never officially sent back to prison.

"This guy obviously should be in prison. He should not have been on the loose in Teller County. But now he's going to go through court and in our county and is going be a cost towards our citizens as well," Mikesell said.

The Teller County Sheriff's office was able to determine that Saenz Lopez is not in the United States legally because of an agreement they have with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Mikesell is the only Sheriff in Colorado that has what's called a 287(G) agreement with ICE. This allows him to hold people for ICE if they are suspected of being in the country illegally and are awaiting trial on state charges.

"Since the Department of Corrections does not notify ICE of someone that's illegal within their facility or even on parole, this guy's allowed to get out and continue to victimize Coloradoans. And he's an illegal immigrant here committing crime," Mikesell said.

The Sheriff is referring to a state law that prevents local law enforcement, including the prison system, from speaking with ICE and alerting them to the presence of an undocumented immigrant in their prisons or jails.

"He comes into the United States undocumented illegally, which is a criminal offense. It's illegal. He then comes to Colorado, commits crime since 2019, over and over and over again while violating his parole. And nobody says a word until he ends up in Teller County," Mikesell expressed in frustration.

Mikesell says their investigation found that Saenz Lopez had a criminal history in Mexico before coming to Colorado. He feels like the state of Colorado is "harboring fugitives" by not allowing local law enforcement, outside of his agency, to work with ICE, an entity of the federal government.

"We as taxpayers have been paying for him since 2019. It's a big issue and it's happening every day in Colorado," Mikesell said.

Outside of Saenz Lopez's criminal history, the Teller County Sheriff wants this case to serve as a warning to people who have a desire to come to Teller County and allegedly victimize their community.

"This law enforcement is very aggressive against wrongdoers. We will find you and that's what we will do. We will run you to the ground. I do have armed citizenry. You're taking your life in your own hands and it's justified if you make them feel threatened in their own homes," Mikesell said.

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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