The man killed in fire was one victim of alleged racketeering ring


FARMINGTON — The San Juan County Sheriff's Office is investigating a fatal fire in late January as possibly suspicious because the man who died was one of the victims in an alleged racketeering ring.

The Sheriff's Office and firefighters were dispatched to a house fire on County Road 4994 on Jan. 26, according to a Sheriff's Office press release.

Gordon Jones, 47, was found deceased inside the residence.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to Detective Lt. Kyle Lincoln.

Most of the damage from the fire was contained to the master bedroom, where Jones was found by investigators, Lincoln said.

There was also heavy smoke damage throughout the entire house.

Investigators are awaiting results from the Office of the Medical Investigator to determine Jones' cause of death.

Lincoln said the Sheriff's Office was working different cases where Jones was a victim and felt the fire was "very coincidental" to the other cases.

Gordon spoke to a detective on Jan. 22 on the telephone about the theft of 78 firearms from a safe in his residence, according to court documents. The phone interview occurred four days before the fire.

Three suspects had been arrested and charged in connection to the firearms theft.

Gordon's son, Wiatt Jones, was accused of 79 charges, including 78 counts of larceny of a firearm, according to court documents. Kyle McDonald also is accused of 78 counts of larceny of a firearm.

Stephen Dye is accused of 78 counts of conspiracy to commit larceny of a firearm, according to court records.

The three men are among six suspects accused of racketeering and allegedly engaging in crimes including extortion and methamphetamine trafficking.

Robert Walker and John Williams were also arrested in connection to the alleged racketeering ring.

An arrest warrant was issued on Feb. 8 for Derek Murphy in connection to the racketeering ring, according to Lincoln.

Murphy's warrant for a second-degree felony count of racketeering and a fourth-degree felony count of conspiracy to commit extortion is still active.

The investigation into the fire and the racketeering ring are being handled as separate cases, Lincoln said.

Anyone with information about the investigation into the fire is asked to call 505-333-7878 and ask for Det. Jacob Courtney.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at

More: Five suspects arrested in alleged racketeering ring

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