Teller County, CO, February 26, 2019– Today in Teller County District Court, Judge Scott Sells sentenced Richard Fretterd to four years-to life in prison following his guilty plea of sexual assault on a child and other charges. Fretterd was arrested by Teller County detectives on December 14th, 2018 and charged with numerous child sex assault charges based on complaints. Fretterd had appeared on television in a series called Prospectors, a weekly reality television series that premiered on March 26, 2013 on The Weather Channel. The show follows miners in the Colorado Rocky Mountains as they look for precious metals and gems. The Weather Channel show has since pulled the show off the air.
“Fretterd’s conviction and sentencing should serve as a stark reminder to those who commit sex crimes in Teller County, especially against children; the full capabilities of law enforcement will be coming for you. These kind of atrocities against the weak will not stand in our community,” said Commander Greg Couch, Public Information Officer for TCSO.
The victims were three middle-school-aged children. The crimes happened over a period of years and there were multiple instances of sexual contact. Fretted was in his 60’s at the time. If not for the hard work of detectives and prosecutors in the case, as well as the bravery of the victims to tell their stories to prosecutors, it would have been difficult to bring Fretterd to justice. The Teller County Sheriff’s Office is grateful to TCSO detectives and the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office for their many hours investigating and prosecuting the case. Hopefully, in some small measure, this sentence will comfort the victims and their families.
Since his appointment and election, Sheriff Jason Mikesell has taken a zero tolerance stance on major crimes in the county. In early 2018, the Sheriff focused resources on battling black-market marijuana. The effort resulted in thousands of illegal plants seized and two dozen arrests with a 100% conviction rate. There is only one case remaining.
In September 2018, the Teller County Narcotics Team (TNT) was formed to address public complaints against other illegal narcotics in the community. In November 2018, members of TNT served a search warrant based upon information of marijuana laced with methamphetamine being supplied to a limited number of Woodland Park middle school students. John Bruce Fifield Jr-47, was arrested and booked into the Teller County Jail on numerous felony drug charges.
This past week, Fifield was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on charges stemming from TNT’s investigation and he was transferred to Federal custody for prosecution.