Task Force: Dragging Of Deputy Leads To Bust Of Car Theft Ring

Grand Jury Issues 103-Count Indictment

A Denver grand jury has issued 103-count indictment naming eight co-defendants in a major auto theft ring that targeted victims across the Denver metro area, according to the Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force.

In August 2009, Jefferson County Deputy Art Peterson was hit by two people in a stolen pickup truck and dragged more than 30 feet.

"That accident led to an investigation and ultimately this indictment," said Commander Mike Becker with the task force.

The indictment charges Tiffany Nicole Weaver, 22, Levi Gregory Yazzie, 28, and Harold Ernest Margeson, 41, with violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act and numerous other counts including conspiracy to commit aggravated motor vehicle theft, conspiracy to commit theft, burglary and criminal trespass, officials said.

Weaver is charged with 83 counts, Yazzie is charged with 70 counts, and Margeson is charged with 13 counts. Weaver and Margeson are in custody. Yazzie is wanted.

An official with the Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force originally stated that Weaver was a passenger in the vehicle that dragged the deputy, but that statement has since been retracted.

Five others involved in the auto theft ring are also facing numerous similar counts including burglary and aggravated motor vehicle theft, officials said.

The indictment alleges that for more than a year the group worked together to burglarize apartment and condominium parking garages and steal cars or break into cars, Becker said in a joint news release with the Denver District Attorney's Office.

The group is accused of using stolen personal information to commit additional crimes including forgery and credit card fraud, according to officials.

The indictment alleges that their common goal was to buy, sell and barter stolen property and money in exchange for illegal drugs, primarily methamphetamine.

Peterson's neck, left leg and all the ribs on one side of his body were broken. After nine surgeries and months of therapy, Peterson returned to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office a year after he was dragged.