The Pueblo County District Attorney’s Office has indicted an ex-Pueblo Sheriff’s Office dive team member and disgraced contractor on 14 counts of felony theft.
The charges were filed following months of investigative work between the DA’s Office and local law enforcement.
Late last year, News 5 Investigates exposed Joe Pacheco’s phony contracting business he used to defraud multiple homeowners.
“He was a very smooth talker until he got our money,” homeowner Joyce Leri said.
Leri hired Pacheco to build a new patio out back which he never finished. She says “HomeAdvisor” recommended Pacheco for the job.
“I was calling and calling him,” Leri said. “He had every excuse in the book. He said supplies are back ordered and that he couldn’t do it.”
Jeff Garcia is out tens of thousands of dollars after he hired Pacheco to remodel a new home he just purchased.
“He did not complete anything,” Garcia said. “He started demolition and didn’t complete it. Every week it was a fight with him because he wanted more money.”
John Creek hired Pacheco to remodel his kitchen.
“He came in and started disassembling and tearing everything out and then just left,” he said.
Roy Desalernos also hired Pacheco to remodel his kitchen. He says he’s out more than $40,000.
“He just quit answering the phones,” Desalernos said.
During the time Pacheco was reportedly ripping off customers, News 5 Investigates learned he was on the dive team with the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office.
He was fired a day after we started asking questions.
News 5 Investigates also uncovered Pacheco was not a licensed contractor and didn’t pull proper work permits. Pueblo’s Building Department eventually cited Pacheco and a municipal court judge ordered him to pay a series of fines.
However, the municipal charges are nothing compared to the 14 felony theft counts Pacheco now faces.
“I truthfully believe that if it wasn’t for your and Channel 5 Investigates, this would not have gone anywhere in this town,” Creek said.
There’s still one unanswered question: Where’s the approximate $400,000 Pacheco reportedly got paid?
Since we began our investigation, Pacheco has refused to talk with us.
“You ruined a lot of people’s lives and they want to know where their money is,” Chief Investigative Reporter Eric Ross told Pacheco.
“No comment,” Pacheco replied. “Thank you. Have a nice day!”
Pacheco is due back in court Aug. 20.
If convicted, he faces up to 48 years in prison.
“He took our money and we’re never going to get a penny of it,” Creek said. “The only thing that we’re going to get out of it is hopefully justice.”