CRIME

Man accused of shooting officer in January booked into county jail, DA seeks no-bond hold

The defendant has two pending cases in Colorado

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Elias Buck, 23, of Durango, Colorado, picked up on Feb. 8 by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office from a Maricopa County jail.
  • Buck is accused of shooting Farmington Police Department Officer Joseph Barreto, 25, once in his right arm on Jan. 7 during a DWI investigation in the area of North Fairview Avenue and 10th Street.
  • With Buck in the county jail, the San Juan County District Attorney’s Office on Jan. 10 filed a motion to keep the defendant in jail without bond as he awaits his trial.

FARMINGTON — The county district attorney’s office has filed paperwork to keep the man accused of shooting a Farmington police officer jailed without bond after he was transferred to the county jail earlier this week.

Elias Buck, 23, of Durango, Colorado, was picked up on Feb. 8 by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office from a Maricopa County, Arizona jail, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kristi Hughes.

He was booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center at 10:49 p.m. on Feb. 8, according to jail records.

Buck is accused of shooting Farmington Police Department Officer Joseph Barreto, 25, once in his right arm on Jan. 7 during a DWI investigation in the area of North Fairview Avenue and 10th Street.

Buck faces third-degree felony counts of felon in possession of a firearm and aggravated battery on a peace officer along with a fourth-degree felony count of tampering with evidence, according to the criminal complaint.

More:Farmington police identify Elias Buck as man accused of shooting police officer Friday

Law enforcement conducted a search of the shuttered Golden Dragon restaurant at 2324 E. Main St. in Farmington on Jan. 8 for Elias Buck. Buck is accused of shooting a Farmington police officer on Jan. 7.

The defendant had been on the run from law enforcement from Dec. 27, 2021, when he escaped from a Colorado jail ,to Jan. 14, when he was arrested in Arizona.

He made his first appearance in Farmington Magistrate Court on the morning of Feb. 10, according to court records.

With Buck in the county jail, the San Juan County District Attorney’s Office on Jan. 10 filed a motion to keep the defendant in jail without bond as he awaits his trial.

The motion states Buck had a felony drug conviction in 2019 in Arizona along with a 2017 conviction in Colorado for trespass of a dwelling.

More: Farmington police release body camera footage from officer shot last week

Farmington Police Department Office Joseph Barreto is seen in an undated photo. Barreto was shot once in his right arm while conducting a DWI investigation on Jan. 7.

It also lists two pending criminal cases in Colorado from 2021 which includes charges for assault, robbery, aggravated motor vehicle theft and escape from jail, according to the motion.

A hearing on the motion was not scheduled on the morning of Feb. 10, according to court records.

Buck has been wanted by law enforcement since he escaped from the La Plata County Jail in Colorado on Dec. 27.

He became wanted in New Mexico after failing to appear for two hearings in two felony cases on Jan. 5 and 6 in San Juan County magistrate courts, according to court documents.

More: Man accused of shooting Farmington officer arrested in Phoenix

Buck is also accused of felony vehicle theft and fleeing a police officer, according to court documents.

The defendant allegedly pulled the gun on Barreto around 10:18 p.m. on Jan. 7 as the officer was conducting a DWI investigation.

Barreto’s body camera footage showed Buck walking up to Barreto, pulling a gun out and firing it at him.

The officer has been treated and released from San Juan Regional Medical Center.

An exhaustive search was conducted in Farmington on Jan. 8 but Buck was not located.

Evidence, including a hoodie jacket and a 9mm Beretta handgun, was recovered near the shuttered Golden Dragon restaurant at 2324 E. Main St, according to a search warrant.

The defendant was arrested in the early morning hours of Jan. 14 at a gas station in Phoenix.

Buck picked up a new criminal case in Arizona for alleged battery on a peace officer.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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