Large police presence at Pueblo hotel closed by City

(PUEBLO, Colo.) — A hotel in northern Pueblo was closed by the City on Thursday, Feb. 1, after the Pueblo Police Department (PPD) along with several other agencies, including the local health department, conducted an operation at the Rodeway Inn, just west of I-25 off Highway 50.

“Several weeks ago, we began planning for an operation here at the Rodeway, basically we knew, there were several issues that we needed to address,” said PPD Sgt. Frank Ortega during a press conference on Thursday.

Sgt. Ortega said the operation was due to criminal activity, along with several safety and security regulations. “We’ve had at least one murder here, if not two, recently. And, then we’ve had a lot of drug sales,” elaborated Sgt. Ortega, who added that neighboring businesses also complained about the hotel. “People loitering, people using drugs, people breaking into cars… some of it was just quality of life things.”

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People were seen leaving the hotel on Thursday after Sgt. Ortega said the City of Pueblo served the building a Cease and Desist Order.

“We are not saying that everyone staying here was involved in criminal activity, a lot of it was health department-related [and] other rules and regulations for safety,” said Sgt. Ortega, adding that the Red Cross and other resources have been offered to those who need them.

At least five people were arrested as of Thursday afternoon, according to Sgt. Ortega, who also responded to a question regarding several of the rooms having yellow police tape across them. “Earlier [Thursday morning] we were applying for some search warrants… so I’m guessing that’s why the yellow tape is on some of those rooms.”

Sgt. Ortega said there will soon be another operation similar to Thursday’s. “We’re going to try to address the root causes of some of these problems, and the part of it is, the tolerance of using drugs, dealing drugs [and] criminal activity.”

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