Deputies find stolen cars, drugs at mysterious Weld County encampment

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WELD COUNTY, Colo. -- A stabbing investigation in Weld County over the weekend has turned up an alleged car theft and drug ring operation.

Deputies with the Weld County Sheriff's Office were called to a rural encampment three miles south of Hudson after they said a man repeatedly stabbed a woman.

Johnny Cordova was arrested after neighbors attacked him with garden equipment. His victim was still recovering from her injuries as of late Monday at Denver Health Medical Center.

Investigators said they found multiple stolen vehicles stashed on the property. They also found drugs inside various tents and campers.

"After the initial investigation, we did discover a lot of stuff there," Cpl. Matt Turner said. "I think the living situation out there is a little strange."

Deputies got more than they bargained for Sunday after responding to calls for help from members of the encampment who attacked Cordova with garden equipment. Cordova was taken to Denver Health after the attack.

"This was a very serious situation that we walked in on," Turner said.

Less than 24 hours after the initial on-scene investigation, some of the campers did not want to explain the living situation.

Property owner James Phillips was under arrest as of late Monday. He is facing charges of aggravated motor vehicle theft and unlawful possession of drugs.

"When you come out there and start investigating something like this, you just look at everything," Turner said. "You have to take the totality of the circumstances and that's what our guys did."

A search warrant was executed on the property Sunday. With the investigation ongoing, detectives said more arrests could come.

Deputies have confirmed three stolen vehicles so far. There could be more confirmed as the investigation progresses, according to authorities.

Cordova is facing first-degree assault and first-degree attempted murder charges. As of late Monday he was still recovering in the hospital. He will face a transfer to the Weld County Jail after his release from Denver Health.

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