Rule property search investigation drags on

After almost seven weeks from when the Colorado State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies searched the property owned by former Montezuma County Commissioner Larrie Rules, few details have yet to be released.

The investigation, which centers around a three-day search starting on Dec. 12, was focusing on auto thefts and is being spearheaded by the state's Beat Auto Theft Through Law Enforcement task force.

CSP Capt. Jeff Goodwin said this type of criminal investigation is always kept under wraps until the task force can move forward with the arrest of all potential suspects and the filing of all applicable charges within the appropriate jurisdictional district.

One week after the search, CSP warned that it could be a month or more before details were released. It's now been 50 days since the first search was conducted.

Goodwin said they are not able to comment on behalf of the task force and the undercover operations, and added that Sgt. Mike Baker will be releasing the details of the investigation when finished.

Goodwin said he realizes this is a topic of interest in any community but especially in some of the smaller communities of Southwestern Colorado.

"I will simply ask for your patience in this matter knowing that we must protect the identities of everyone involved at this point in the investigation," Goodwin wrote in an email. "The last thing that we want to do is jeopardize any portion of this case and its evidence."

Rule has not returned phone calls to comment on the case. Rule's last day as commissioner was Jan. 8. He was term limited after serving eight years on the commission.