MCSO says goodbye to their secret weapon
You may not recognize the name Mike Miller, but anyone in Mesa County surely recognizes his patrol vehicle with the Batman sticker, surrounded by piles of illegal drugs. The legend, Investigator Mike Miller, has pulled more drugs off Interstate I-70 than any other interdiction point in the state. After almost 31 years behind the wheel of a patrol car, Investigator Mike Miller is officially retiring from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.
Miller went into law enforcement back in 1992 because he thought that making $9.81 an hour seemed like a lot of money. That and not having to sit in an office every day. He has served the public since he was 18 years old and says he couldn’t imagine doing anything else. He knew he would not be able to change the world, but he sure tried to change his corner of it.
Mike Miller began his interdiction career in 1996 after taking a training course. At that time, no one in Colorado was successfully working criminal interdiction, and that is where Investigator Miller found his calling. Miller did not accomplish it solo; however, he had many partners over the years. Over the years, four K9s accompanied him along that lonesome stretch of highway. Kida, a German shepherd; Polo, a Chocolate Lab; Libby, her breed, was simply listed as “the absolute best K9 ever”; and his current partner CJ, who will go with him as he leaves.
When Mike was asked what the highlight of his career was, surprisingly, it was not the 1,400 lbs. of cocaine, 230 lbs. of Heroin and Fentanyl, or even the millions of dollars worth of US currency and property he has discovered during traffic stops. Nope. For him, it was when Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey and Undersheriff Rebecca Spiess took him out to lunch, simply to say, “thank you” for a job well done.
Over his long career with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Miller has received awards and accolades in the double digits. He has been recognized nationally, and regionally, by the state of Colorado and the Sheriff’s Office. His favorite was when he received the 2017 Rocky Mountain HIDTA Chairman’s Award. His counterpart from the Colorado State Patrol got the Interdiction Officer of the Year. “We absolutely crushed it that year.” He says, “it showed that different agencies working together as a team will be successful.”
Surprisingly enough, Investigator Miller’s most memorable stop did not involve any of the 18,000 lbs. of marijuana he has seized over his remarkable career, or any of the 2,300 lbs. of methamphetamine he has found along the 1-70 corridor. It was when he pulled over a vehicle and found the driver attempting to smuggle a Great Horned owl out of the state. Keeping that owl in Colorado, he says, “was pretty cool”.
When Mike was asked what message he wanted to leave, he said, “Never Stop Learning!”
The true impact of Miller’s work can never truly be measured, but merely looking at the enormous amounts of drugs and narcotics he has successfully removed from distribution has most surely saved many lives.
“I cannot thank everyone enough for their help and support,” Miller said. “The people I have worked with in the different agencies in the valley are truly the best, and I will miss each and every one of them.”
No, sir, thank you.
Ladies, and gentlemen, Batman has left the building…