A disgraced contractor and ex-Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office dive team member pleaded guilty to felony theft charges in court Thursday.
The indictment against Joe Pacheco followed a series of News 5 investigations into his unlicensed contracting business.
Pacheco, the owner of JP Home Improvement was initially charged back in June 2018 with 14 felony counts of theft.
Updated court records show the number of felony charges grew to 20 before Pacheco entered his plea in court.
As part of an agreement to avoid trial, the DA’s Office consolidated the charges into two class 5 felonies and one class 4 felony.
Pacheco pleaded guilty to all three charges which carries a total prison sentence of up to 12 years.
“He deserves prison,” homeowner John Creek said. “He took too much and made our lives miserable.”
Pacheco left the courtroom without saying a word and shielded himself from our cameras using a notepad.
In all, Pacheco reportedly stole more than $400,000.
It’s unclear where the money went and victims we talked with say they haven’t received a dime of their money back.
“He needs to do jail time because what he has done is so wrong with so many people,” homeowner Joyce Leri said. “This has to be stopped and he has to pay for the things he did.”
In addition to possible prison time, Pacheco could be ordered to pay restitution.
He’s scheduled to be sentenced May 6.