Colorado sheriffs oppose housing Guantanamo Bay detainees in state prisons | SteamboatToday.com

Colorado sheriffs oppose housing Guantanamo Bay detainees in state prisons

Scott Franz

— Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins and Moffat County Sheriff K.C. Hume are among several elected officials in the state expressing strong opposition to the possibility of housing some Guantanamo Bay detainees in Colorado.

The Denver Post recently reported that U.S. Department of Defense officers visited the state last month to determine the suitability of transferring detainees from the military base in Cuba to prisons in Florence and Canon City.

Colorado’s two senators immediately raised objections about the possibility of hosting detainees here.

Wiggins and Hume were among 41 sheriffs in Colorado to sign a letter to President Barack Obama urging him not to consider transferring Guantanamo prisoners here because they could endanger citizens.

“Recent history has shown us repeated examples around the globe of coordinated, violent attacks against prisons holding radical Islamic militants,” the sheriffs wrote. “We strongly protest actions that might well add our state to the list of locations where such deadly attacks have occurred.”

The sheriffs noted the prisons that could house the detainees are close to Colorado Springs and the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Army’s Chemical Weapons Depot.

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They also expressed concern about transporting the prisoners to and from federal courts in Denver.

Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith shared the letter this morning.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10