Aspen police bust Romanian on cocaine possession
September 10, 2014
A native of Romania temporarily living and working in Snowmass Village was arrested early Wednesday morning after an Aspen policeman allegedly saw him walking away from a Dumpster in a downtown alley after using cocaine.
Bond for Dan P. Gherman, 23, of Bucharest, Romania, was originally set at $2,500 for the felony charge of possession of a controlled substance. After learning that Gherman had no criminal history, Pitkin County District Judge Gail Nichols reduced the bond to $150 cash-only during his courtroom advisement Wednesday.
Officer Adam Loudon wrote in an affidavit of warrantless arrest that he was on routine patrol near the alley between the 300 block of East Hopkins Avenue and the 300 block of East Hyman Avenue when he observed three men standing near a Dumpster.
One of the men, Loudon wrote, had his head near the lid of the Dumpster. Touching his face, he left the alley in one direction while the other two left it in the opposite direction, the affidavit said.
"I exited the patrol car and looked on top of the Dumpster," Loudon wrote. "I observed … a paper cocaine bindle that was unwrapped and a white powdery substance next to it."
Loudon wrote that he contacted the man who had been touching his face near the Dumpster, Gherman, outside a South Galena Street nightspot.
While talking with him, Loudon said, "I could see he had white powder on and underneath his nose. … I told Gherman he could not do cocaine in the alley."
Gherman apologized to Loudon, the affidavit said, and told the policeman that he bought the cocaine for $40 from a man at a restaurant on East Hopkins Avenue. Loudon wrote that he arrested Gherman and then returned to the alley where he had found the three men.
"I went back to the alley and was able to collect the white powder from the Dumpster and put it back in the bindle," Loudon wrote. The substance tested positive for cocaine, the affidavit said.
Loudon wrote that after searching Gherman, he found a rolled-up dollar bill in the suspect's coat pocket.
"A common way of consuming cocaine is to snort it through rolled-up currency," the officer wrote.
Police reports state that Gherman is a back-server at a Snowmass Village hotel. In court, Gherman said he had been planning to return to Romania soon.
His next court appearance was set for Sept. 15.