Colorado Springs Police Sgt. James Butierres arrested on theft, forgery charges after internal probe

Arrest related to Motor Vehicle Theft grant funds

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A Colorado Springs police say a sergeant overseeing the Motor Vehicle Theft Unit has been arrested on felony theft and forgery charges in connection with "time and labor issues and funds associated with a Motor Vehicle Theft grant."

Sgt. James Butierres, 53, was arrested on Thursday afternoon, police said. Butierres has been placed on administrative leave with pay during the investigation. 

"The arrest of an officer has an impact not only on department members, but our community as well," Police Chief Peter Carey said in a statement. "It will be handled in the same manner and with the same integrity as every other investigation."

About a week ago, officials conducting internal checks and balances within the Colorado Springs Police Department identified a possible employee theft, department spokeswoman Barbara Miller said in a news release.

This led to a criminal investigation and probable cause was established for an arrest relating to "time and labor issues and funds associated with a Motor Vehicle Theft grant," Miller said. "Sergeant Butierres was responsible for overseeing our Motor Vehicle Theft Unit and grant funds associated with this position."

Police said a case will be presented to the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office for formal charges. If felony charges are filed, Butierres' administrative leave will be without pay.