Jesper Joergensen, a 52-year-old non U.S. citizen from Denmark who wrote repeatedly about anarchy on social media, is accused of starting the Spring Fire in Colorado, which is the most active among multiple blazes that are causing damage to that state.
The wildfire has caused multiple disruptions in Colorado, including evacuations, destroyed homes, and road closures. The fire, which started on June 27, 2018, had grown to 40,000 acres in size by June 30. According to ABC News, the fire is located in “a rural, mountainous region in southern Colorado near Great Sand Dunes National Park. The wildfire is about two hours south of Colorado Springs and three hours south of Denver.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Joergensen Is Being Held on Arson Charges
Sheriff’s officials in Colorado confirm that they believe the cause of the fire was arson, and they are holding Joergensen in connection with the crime.
However, they have not provided many details about what led to his arrest or what the motive was for allegedly starting the wildfire. The Denver Post obtained an arrest affidavit in the case, however, which shed more light on the details. It alleges that Joergensen “was apparently among the first to report the blaze last week and had burns on his body when he spoke to authorities.” He allegedly told officials that he was burning trash but then said he was grilling and seemed nervous, The Post reported the documents allege.
According to The Post, Joergensen said he was living in a camper near where the blaze began and claimed he tried to smother it although he didn’t put water on it. He also claimed he tried to throw a blanket on it, but that didn’t work, and alleged his fire didn’t cause the massive wildfire.
“The initial cause of the fire was human caused,” the Costilla County Sheriff’s Department wrote on Facebook. “The investigation was lead (sic) by our office with the assistance of CBI, State arson investigators, CSP, and Immigration and Customs agents. Jesper Joergensen, 52, was arrested without incident by Costilla County deputies. Jesper is being held on Arson charges. The investigation is still on going so information on this matter is limited.”
2. Joergensen Wrote About Anarchy & Railed Against Government & Jews on His Facebook Page
Jesper Joergensen was active on social media, where he posted about anarchy. His posts show a paranoid distrust in government of all forms, dislike of Jewish people, and support for marijuana use and gun ownership.
One post read, “#EndStatism #RuleYourself #Anarchy ✌.” One photo shows him smoking. A photo he posted in the spring showed several tin cans. “It’s future targets for practice – they double as a mountain man wind charm ? but now your son’s got me thinking about getting it tripwired ?” Joergensen wrote in the comment thread.
In 2017, he posted a cartoon that read that Democratic Communism “is socio-political tyranny just like Capitalism is. Can’t any Uber-Nazis think for themselves?!?” He railed against government in all forms on his page, which reads, “Do you need to be governed? Yes? You’re insane! No? You’re being oppressed.” He wrote that he was self-employed and single.
One photo he posted showed the anarchist flag. “#Voluntarism #Anarchism #Anarchy2017 #Anarchy #AnBar – Anarcho Barter,” he hashtagged the post. Other posts show a small dog and another was a photo of “tactical energy” batteries. “My batteries arrived safely. ?” wrote Joergensen.
He also posted photos of gold nuggets. Several of his graphics were anti-Semitic. Another graphic showed a woman in a bikini carrying a gun and read, “There are no rights if you don’t defend them.” Some of his posts were pro Cannabis. One graphic railed against “statism” and read “Everybody killing everybody in an effort to maintain government.”
Another meme showed a black man and read, “Started slave trade. Demands reparations for enslavement.” Another meme made fun of Al Gore for his focus on global warming. He also used the “C word” on his wall. One meme mentioned Hitler, saying, “Why did Hitler sacrifice his army and country? Because his grandma was Rothschilds maid.”
Joergensen also trashed homosexuals. He started a Facebook page called Anarcho Barter.
His Facebook page gives his full name as Jesper Hjulmand Joergensen.
3. Joergensen Criticized Capitalism & Communism & Shared Photos of Guns on His Wall
Joergensen’s political beliefs seemed opposed to any sort of organized economic system. For example, in one post on Facebook, he railed against both capitalism and communism. He also shared multiple photos of guns on his wall. “To all my voting friends on facebook: – I will hold you responsible for all future criminal actions of government. – You don’t like that – unfriend me, ✌” he wrote in November 2016.
“Capital-ISM .. – It’s like with any other culture – it needs a little dash of something to elevate it from bog standard cultism.. – Look, shiny things,- slave money, profitable monopolies, currency speculation and sanctions .. tax barriers, nationalism, religions and military industrial complexes.. – Hoard stuff and profit from inflation,” he wrote. “Commun(e)-ISM .. – It’s basically about wanting other people’s stuff. Both are cultism and both are based on ignorance and greed as most ideologies and ism’s are. – The two ideologies were unified by FIAT currencies and – yes,- it’s a big scam,” his post read.
He shared a photo of Donald Trump looking demonic that was titled “American Horror Story” but mostly railed against government in general rather than advocating for or against specific politicians.
He weighed in on cannabis and politicians, writing, “Cannabis promotes the growth of neurons.. – wish the moms of our ‘political leaders’ had known, eh?- Toked or ate a few buds and served their milk and induced some healthy peacefulness in those f*ckers. – Politicians .. – they can’t make much of a living in a trouble free society – they survive by our fears and conflicts – and that makes me wonder where our involuntary society is heading. – Yes, we get our endocannabinoid system fed by our mothers breast milk.”
He criticized racism as a “social construct” and advocated against taxes and for legalization of marijuana.
4. Joergensen, Who Is Danish, Is Not a U.S. Citizen
Joergensen is not a citizen of the United States, The Huffington Post reported. Because he’s not a citizen, he will be turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after the arson case concludes, according to the Post.
Fox News reported that Joergensen is a Danish national and that he is an “illegal immigrant” to the United States, although other news sites, such as The Denver Post, reported only that he is not a citizen. Fox 31 also reported that Joergensen is from Denmark and that ICE has a detainer hold on him.
Heavy has reached out to ICE for confirmation of whether Joergensen is in the country illegally. ICE responded with this statement, “On June 28, 2018, deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) placed an immigration detainer with Costilla County (Colorado) Jail on Jesper Hjulmand Joergensen 52, from Denmark, following his arrest on criminal charges.” According to ICE, Joergensen is a “deportable alien.” The U.S. government defines a deportable alien, however, as “An alien in and admitted to the United States subject to any grounds of removal specified in the Immigration and Nationality Act. This includes any alien illegally in the United States, regardless of whether the alien entered the country by fraud or misrepresentation or entered legally but subsequently violated the terms of his or her nonimmigrant classification or status.” Heavy has asked ICE to clarify whether Joergensen was in the county unlawfully before the arson accusation. ICE responded that it had provided all of the information that it can.
However, The Denver Post reports that, according to the arrest affidavit, “immigration officials reported he was in the U.S. illegally, as his visa expired.”
5. The Spring Fire Continued to Grow
On June 29, 2018, CDOT reported that the Spring Fire was continuing to grow. “#SpringFire continues to grow and has jumped CO 160 at mile point 384, near Huerfano County Road 442. CDOT and CSP will keep US 160 closed due to poor viability, heavy smoke and the fire’s proximity to the highway. Check http://cotrip.org for latest closures,” the organization tweeted.
On July 1, 2018, the fire was still severe enough to cause road closures. “The #SpringFire continues to burn on both sides of US 160 and the west side of CO 12. The closure of US 160 between Fort Garland and La Veta and the closure of CO 12 between Cuchara and La Veta, will continue. There is no estimated time of reopening,” read a tweet from June 30, 2018.
The blaze is just one of multiple wildfires in Colorado.