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June 21, 2011
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Basalt man faces felony charges for selling pot to sixth-grader

ASPEN - A Basalt man was charged Monday with two felony counts connected to selling marijuana to a 12-year-old boy.

Twenty-year-old Joshua Brooks Stump appeared in the chambers of District Judge James Boyd, who advised him that he faces a class-three felony charge of distribution of marijuana to a person under 15, and a class-four felony of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Stump's court appearance marked his first since Carbondale police arrested him earlier this month. He posted $15,000 bond on June 5.

His arrest came after Basalt police launched an investigation on May 17, when the principal and assistant principal at Basalt Middle School learned that two sixth-grade students had been smoking pot on the campus. The principals were tipped off by several students during lunch break, according to a statement of facts in support of the arrest warrant for Stump, prepared by Basalt Police Officer Brian Lemke.

Lemke later met with one of the students, who conveyed that he had bought the marijuana from an older man at his home, but he "did not want to divulge the identity of the seller because he said he was afraid someone might beat him up if he told," Lemke's report says.

The boy told Lemke that he had bought 2 grams of pot for $40, and he had his own pipe with which to smoke it.

The boy, who was served with a notice to appear in juvenile court, later revealed the name of the alleged seller to his grandmother. The grandmother, in turn, told Lemke the next day, on May 18. The grandmother also said she believed the transaction took place at May 16.

The boy also told his grandmother that Stump had sold weed to other kids.

Stump did not have an attorney at Monday's hearing. On several occasions he appeared confused as the judge read him the charges and the potential consequences that accompany them.

"To be honest," he told the judge, "I just don't understand the charges."

Stump told Boyd he plans to hire a public defender in time for his next court appearance, scheduled July 11.

The distribution of marijuana charge carries the stiffest penalties of the two counts, with a mandatory prison-sentence range of four to 12 years, with five years of parole.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Jun 21, 2011 07:00AM Published Jun 21, 2011 02:33AM Copyright 2011 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.