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Man arrested in connection with sprinkling white powder on Durango buildings

Jason Morrison, 52, allegedly seen on video purchasing 10-pound bags of baking soda

A man suspected of sprinkling white powder – which turned out to be baking soda – on various buildings throughout Durango has been arrested in the Denver area.


Jason Byne Morrison, 52, was taken into custody Feb. 22 on suspicion of four misdemeanors, including criminal tampering, obstructing government operations and two counts of trespassing, said Cmdr. Nick Stasi, with the Durango Police Department.

Morrison is suspected of sprinkling the white powder on private and government buildings, including TBK Bank, Adventure Christian Church, First United Methodist Thrift Shop, The Durango Herald offices, the Durango Police Department station and the La Plata County Courthouse.

The alleged activity occurred on at least four different occasions, from Jan. 30 through Feb. 13.

Morrison was captured on several surveillance video systems dumping the white power on buildings, Stasi said.

He allegedly became aggressive toward TBK Bank employees on Jan. 25 and was warned not to return. Employees apparently recognized him on video surveillance five nights later sprinkling white power around the building and notified police, Stasi said.

“The bank was able to identify him to us,” Stasi said.

A nearly empty 10-pound bag of Arm & Hammer baking soda was found discarded near The Durango Herald offices Tuesday morning the same day a white powdery substances was found sprinkled around the entrances of the Durango Police station, La Plata County Courthouse and other buildings in town. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald file)
A white powder substance was found sprinkled around the entrances of the Durango Police station, La Plata County Courthouse and other buildings in downtown Durango. In this photo, the white powder can be seen sprinkled around a Durango Police Department vehicle parked on east 10th Street. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald file)

Police obtained a photograph of Morrison and used it to identify him purchasing several 10-pound bags of Arm & Hammer baking soda at Walmart on a previous day.

“Walmart is the only place in town that sells it (10-pound bags), and they were able to pull up video of him buying multiple bags at a time,” Stasi said. “He was wearing the same clothing in the bank video.”

It is not the first time Morrison has been arrested. He made news in March 2023 for allegedly backing his van into a laundromat owner on north Main Avenue in Durango. The laundromat owner was pinned against his own building and suffered a broken right arm and a dislocated right wrist.

Durango Fire Protection District firefighters run tests on a white powder found sprinkled around the La Plata County Courthouse and Durango Police Department station on Feb. 13. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald file)

Stasi declined to speculate about Morrison’s intent for sprinkling white powder on area buildings, but he said the activity disrupted government services at the police station and the courthouse, both of which had to close down while investigators tested the substance out of an abundance of caution.

Morrison was being held Monday at the El Paso County Jail without bail, possibly awaiting extradition to La Plata County, Stasi said.


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