PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police respond to explosion

Farmington, NM – The Farmington Police Department is investigating an explosion that occurred early Tuesday morning. At approximately 3:05 a.m. dispatch received reports of an explosion in the 500 block of East 20 Street. Officers searched the area and located the remains of an explosive device in the parking lot south of 505 E. 20 St. Investigation by the FPD Bomb Unit revealed the explosive was made from a gas sample cylinder. The explosion caused damage to a nearby shed and dented the side of a dumpster. No injuries were reported. The incident remains under investigation.

“This is an extremely serious incident and our detectives are working closely with ATF and the FBI,” said Chief Hebbe. “We urge all citizens to report suspicious activity immediately by calling dispatch.”

Anyone with information about this incident may call the FPD Detective Tip Hotline at 599-1068. Anonymous tips may be submitted to San Juan County Crime Stoppers at 334-TIPS.

The Farmington Police Department would like to remind citizens to never touch suspicious packages or items. Instead, call 911 immediately.

*The attached images are examples of the types of cylinders that could be used.


PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police searching for sexual assault suspect, requesting public’s assistance

Farmington, NM – Farmington police are trying to locate the suspect in a sexual assault that occurred this morning at an apartment in the 2500 block of Lee Avenue.

The suspect is described as a white male, possibly mid 30s, approximately six feet tall, 200 to 220 pounds, has broad shoulders, light brown hair approximately one to two inches in length and has a goatee. He was wearing a dark blue plain hooded jacket with a front zipper, blue jeans and black leather gloves.

Anyone with information is asked to immediately call dispatch at 334-6622.


PRESS RELEASE: Victim in yesterday’s drowning identified

Farmington, NM – Farmington police were dispatched to Lake Farmington last night around 6:00 due to a possible drowning. Police learned that three adults (two males both ages 31 and a female age 33) and two children, ages 2 and 8, arrived at the west side of the lake and saw a raft floating in the water. One of the men swam out in the lake in an attempt to retrieve it. The man began to struggle and went under the water. The second male saw him struggling and swam out to assist him while the woman called 911 for help. The second male also began to struggle but was able to make it back to shore.

Rescue efforts were attempted by New Mexico State Police, Farmington Police Department, Farmington Fire Department and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office. The Air Care 1 helicopter and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office helicopter were deployed at separate times to conduct air searches.

At approximately 1:00 p.m. today, searchers located the body of 31-year-old Jaime Tolbert. Chief Hebbe extended FPD’s condolences to the family, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Tolbert’s family and friends during this very difficult time.”

A portion of the lake was closed while the search was being conducted. The City of Farmington has reopened the lake for watercraft and non-motorized boating.

PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police release sketch of suspect in attempted sexual assault case

SketchFarmington, NM – Detectives with the Farmington Police Department have been investigating a serious assault and attempted sexual assault that occurred in the area of Berg Park on July 21. Today, the victim in the case met with a sketch artist who was able to create a facial composite of the suspect.

The suspect is described as a Native American male, approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall weighing between 160 and 180 lbs. He was wearing a long-sleeve shirt with either a logo or other markings on the upper sleeves, black pants and possibly white athletic shoes with black accents.

If you believe you know this individual, please contact the Farmington Police Department Detective Division at (505) 599-1005. Anonymous tips may be submitted to San Juan County Crimes Stoppers at (505) 334-TIPS.

PRESS RELEASE: DWI checkpoints to be conducted in August and September

Farmington, NM – The Farmington Police Department, in partnership with surrounding law enforcement agencies, will be conducting DWI checkpoints during August and September. The checkpoints are part of the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s ENDDWI campaign. The campaign was created to help reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes and fatalities on our roadways. In addition to conducting checkpoints, FPD continues to promote their RADD campaign, which encourages drivers to report aggressive and drunk drivers by calling 911.

PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police seeking information on suspect who assaulted a woman in Berg Park

Farmington, NM – Farmington police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect in a serious assault and attempted sexual assault that occurred in the area of Berg Park around 3:00 p.m. on July 21. A 25-year -old female was walking on a trail when she was grabbed from behind. The woman was able to fight off her attacker and call for help. She was transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center and treated for injuries sustained in the struggle. The woman was released a few hours later.

The suspect is described as a Native American male, thin build, around six feet tall, wearing a white bandanna, white long sleeve shirt and black pants. Farmington detectives are working on several leads but are requesting additional help from the public to assist in the investigation.

Chief Hebbe expressed FPD’s dedication to keeping the park safe, “The Riverwalk is one of many beautiful assets in our community, frequented by individuals and families seeking outdoor recreation year round. Violent crimes are very rare on the trails, but all citizens should exercise caution when traveling alone. We want our citizens to continue enjoying the area and FPD has increased patrols to deter any further incidents. You will see a noticeable increase in the number of officers present as we work to find this suspect and ensure the trails remain a safe place for everyone.”

Anyone with information may contact the Detective Division at 599-1005. Anonymous tips may be submitted to San Juan County Crime Stoppers at 334-TIPS. We will update you with any new information as the investigation progresses.

PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police respond to stabbing, one in custody

Farmington, NM – Farmington police were dispatched to the Anasazi Inn yesterday around 3:55 p.m. in reference to a male who had been stabbed. Officers arrived and found 33-year-old Joshua Couillard of Farmington with a stab wound to his upper left thigh. Officers rendered aid until medics arrived and transported him to San Juan Regional Medical Center. Through investigation, officers learned that Couillard and another male, identified as 33-year-old Rodriguez Lee of Shiprock, had been in an altercation at the Roadrunner Car Wash on Broadway and Lake Street. During the altercation, Lee stabbed Couillard in the leg. Coulliard then went to the Anasazi Inn where an employee called police. Officers located Lee walking in the vicinity. He was transported to the Farmington Police Department for questioning and subsequently arrested for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a third degree felony. He is being held at the San Juan County Detention Center with bond to be set at his first hearing. Couillard was treated for his injury and released from the hospital.