Spring Fire suspect facing 141 counts of arson

Posted at 3:16 PM, Jul 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-12 17:16:26-04

Jesper Joergensen, the man accused of starting the Spring Fire, is facing 141 counts of arson. Joergensen appeared in court, by phone, Thursday in Costilla County.

Deputies there say he told them different stories about how the fire started: first, he said he was burning trash, then he said he had been cooking in a fire pit and thought he had doused the fire.

Eventually, however, the fire spread, burning more than 130 homes.

Joergensen was arrested on the same day of the fire. Local authorities, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement all took part in the investigation. 

Following his arrest, an immigration detainer was placed with the Costilla County Jail on Joergensen. According to a statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Joergensen is an illegal immigrant from Denmark.

Aliens who are criminally convicted and sentenced are pursued by ICE officers to be removed from the United States after they have completed their prison sentences, ICE said in a statement. 

Officials have not yet said exactly how the fire was started. In total, just under 108,000 acres burned.

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