Accused of breaking into another man’s home, stealing his guns and crossbows, cooking a pizza and cleaning the kitchen, a Green River man could face up to half a century in prison.
The man also reportedly left his wallet at the crime scene, then led a Green River police sergeant on a treasure hunt to win back the stolen items.
Delroy Reid Trujillo, who is 50 this year, is charged with one count of aggravated burglary, a crime consisting of breaking into someone’s home to commit a felony.
In Wyoming, stealing a gun is a felony regardless of the gun’s value.
Normally, an aggravated burglary conviction carries a five- to 25-year prison sentence, but Trujillo faces an enhanced term of 10-50 years as a habitual offender with two prior felony convictions, including one violent in nature. Those are a 2007 aggravated assault conviction and a 2016 felony DUI conviction (for having at least four DUIs).
Trujillo’s case ascended last week to the felony-level Sweetwater County District Court. He’s scheduled to give a plea Nov. 13.
An affidavit filed in the case says the investigation started at 2 p.m. June 25, when Green River Police Sgt. Gary Bach responded to a Green River home for a burglary report.
The resident, Mourgan Lenling, had returned home from work that afternoon to find a suspicious note in his living room on his computer, says the affidavit. The note said, “30 Days 1 B Cool.”
Lenling was uneasy. He had not locked his door that day, says the affidavit.
Nothing was missing and no one else was in the home. But he called a friend and asked if he could stay the night, then he locked the door and left.
When he got home the next day and went to open his door, it was closed but unlocked, Lenling told the sergeant.
A large stuffed giraffe that usually sat in a different room now sat just inside the door. His things throughout the house were out of place. A cooked, half-eaten pizza sat on his oven. A mini sledgehammer that doesn’t belong on his kitchen counter was nevertheless perched there — and the kitchen was cleaner than usual, the affidavit says.
Three empty Budweiser cans lay in the sink.
Lenling found a new note, along with a sticky note showing his address. This note read, “Forcloser $241,000.00 07/25 Paid.”
Guns, Guitar And Scotch
In the family room, Lenling’s Fender Squire Telecaster electric guitar was gone, the affidavit says. He described it as having a black neck that faded into an orange body. A locked closet in his bedroom was broken open and was reportedly missing a 150-pound crossbow, a compound bow and an old bottle of Glenlivet scotch.
Lenling climbed the stairs.
Three rifles were missing from an upstairs closet, including a Savage .270 with a Striker scope and a camouflage synthetic stock; a Remington 870 shotgun; and a JC Higgins .22 caliber rifle, the document says. In Lenling’s bedroom, he found his bedding tossed into the corner of the room, he later told the sergeant.
Oh Look, A Wallet
Lenling walked around outside, and just outside the east entrance door, found a wallet. It contained several identification cards belonging to Delroy Reid Trujillo, the affidavit says.
There was no reason for that to be there, Lenling told Bach.
Bach went for a stroll around the house with Lenling while the man pointed out what was missing and what was moved. Lenling showed Bach the door handle, jogged loose, and the way the latch didn’t meet the strike plate securely, says the document.
A few moments later after he left the home, Bach heard from dispatch that Trujillo was at Lenling’s home, arguing with Lenling and his friends.
Bach drove back to the home and separated everyone, then asked Trujillo to have a talk with him. Trujillo gripped a can of Budweiser matching the ones left in Lenling’s sink, the affidavit says.
Trujillo said his brother had bought the home and he was just there eating a pizza and cleaning it up.
Lenling called both of his parents, who own his home, and they said they hadn’t sold it to anyone.
No Thanks, Guns
Bach went to Trujillo’s home next and spoke with Trujillo’s mother. She said he’d been home earlier that day with several rifles and a pistol. She asked where the guns came from, and Trujillo said he got them from a friend, says the affidavit.
The man’s mother didn’t want the guns at her house; she made him take them and leave.
Trujillo’s aunt picked him up from the home, the document says.
Bach went to Trujillo’s aunt’s house next and there spoke with the woman’s husband, Trujillo’s uncle. The uncle said Trujillo stopped by and asked for $100. In return he’d give two guns as collateral, the man recalled.
The uncle asked where the guns had come from.
Trujillo had won them in a game of pool, he reportedly told his uncle.
The uncle agreed to the deal, taking a shotgun and pistol as collateral for the $100 loan.
Bach asked to see the guns.
The uncle brought out a Remington 870 shotgun and a Heritage .22-caliber revolver, says the affidavit. The uncle also handed over the shotgun case and in it, two boxes of 12-gauge shells and a plastic baggie containing revolver ammunition, reportedly.
Have Some Bullets
Trujillo’s mother arrived at the aunt and uncle’s home during this interview.
She’d found a lot of things in Trujillo’s room that she believed were stolen, said the mother. And she handed over a fixed-blade knife, two boxes of .270 ammunition, a box of .22 ammo and some .22 ammo inside a sock, says the affidavit.
Gonna Level Them
Police officers spoke with Trujillo. He said he and his brother talked about buying the residences across the street from the Red Feather in Green River, leveling them and putting up storage units, the affidavit relates.
Trujillo had assumed that his brother had purchased the homes, so he decided to go and clean them out, though his brother didn’t ask him to, Trujillo reportedly said.
The affidavit says he went into the house in question that morning, made a pizza and cleaned up the kitchen because he thought it was dirty. He hung out in the house a little while, but he didn’t take anything, the man said.
Then he went to a few bars for “a beer,” after which his aunt picked him up for a while and dropped him back off at the Red Feather. Then he went back to the home and encountered Lenling and Lenling’s friends, which led to Bach getting called back there.
Law enforcement agents issued a trespass warning for Trujillo, to keep him from revisiting Lenling’s home.
The next day, June 26, Lenling called another sergeant and said he’d gotten the serial number for his Remington shotgun, which he bought from Trailhead Guns. The serial number matched the one police had recovered from Trujillo’s uncle, says the affidavit.
Lenling couldn’t find a serial number for the guitar but offered photographs of it.
Trujillo called Bach another day later, June 27. He said he wasn’t alone during the break-in, but he wouldn’t tell Bach who was with him. That other person may or may not have taken some stuff, Trujillo allegedly continued.
Trujillo asked what was still missing.
Bach told him.
Trujillo said he may or may not know where the culprit put the stolen loot.
The person who took the goods told him they were stashed at the rear of Lenling’s property, Trujillo reportedly told Bach.
Bach had been there the day before and didn’t see anything, he said. The sergeant asked if there was anywhere specific he should look.
If the goods were there, they may or may not be on a couch under a tarp, Trujillo said. Trujillo told Bach to look for the things and call him, says the affidavit.
So Bach went back to Lenling’s home. He said the missing items were probably just behind the main residence, in the last room, on a couch. The men found a couch along the wall with a green tarp on top of it, and under it found the stolen goods: a black rifle case, black backpack, black guitar case, large crossbow, handheld crossbow, crossbow bolts, wooden box containing Glenlivet scotch and a DeWalt angle grinder, the affidavit says.
Well, It Might Be There
One thing was still missing: the JC Higgins .22-caliber rifle.
Bach went to Trujillo’s home and asked about the rifle.
Trujillo said he’d make a call, and Bach could pick up the rifle in a little while, probably in a cardboard box in a dumpster “or something,” says the affidavit.
One hour later, Trujillo called and said the rifle was headed from Rock Springs to Green River. Twenty minutes later, Trujillo called again and said the rifle “may or may not” be at the Chamber of Commerce behind an orange piece of equipment. He’d watched it being dropped off, he said, so he knew where it was, says the affidavit.
Trujillo reportedly asked Bach if they “were good,” adding he shouldn’t be in trouble anymore since all missing items were recovered.
Bach went to the Chamber of Commerce. He found a long, rectangular cardboard box tucked into a crevice on the orange piece of equipment, and in it sat the rifle. Less than one minute later, Trujillo called and asked if they were good.
Bach said he had the gun, the affidavit relates. It was a .22-caliber JC Higgins rifle.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.