Elderly dealer links ex-Aspen resident to cocaine conspiracy
Ryan Summerlin February 27, 2013
DENVER – A former Pasadena, Calif., resident told a federal jury Tuesday that he frequently delivered kilograms of cocaine to former Aspen resident Montgomery Chitty.
Alfonso Elvao-Allocati, 72, who once ran a machine shop in Pasadena, testified that he and Chitty conducted regular drug transactions from 2002 to 2010. He said the two met at hotels in Mesquite, Nev., to make the exchanges.
“We would talk on the phone,” Elvao-Allocati said, explaining how the deals went down. “I would knock on his (hotel door), say, ‘Hi. How are you?’ I’d sit down, watch TV, and he’d check the product.”
Elvao-Allocati, a native of Argentina, said Chitty always tested the cocaine before making a payment.
“He don’t trust me,” Elvao-Allocati explained.
Once satisfied with the drug’s quality, Chitty handed over wads of cash – all wrapped in rubber bands – in exchange for between 4 and 5 kilograms of cocaine, according to Elvao-Allocati.
The price for a kilo ran as high as $28,500, he said.
Federal prosecutors claim the drug dealing began more than a decade ago, when another Aspen resident, Wayne Reid, began a “lucrative cocaine business.” After his arrest on a marijuana charge in 2002, Reid allegedly let Chitty take over dealings with Elvao-Allocati. Authorities say the alleged drug ring brought to the upper valley 200 kilos of cocaine over 15 years.
The federal investigation began in March 2010, when a confidential informant told DEA agents that Reid distributed cocaine in the upper valley. Federal agents tapped phones belonging to Reid. The wiretaps exposed the alleged drug conspiracy.
Reid has since pleaded to possessing with the intent to distribute 5 kilos or more of cocaine and is expected to get a sentence of between four and eight years. Elvao-Allocati pleaded guilty in January to charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 5 kilos or more, and is expected to be sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison.
Chitty, 61, has pleaded not guilty and is representing himself at trial.
“Please bear with me,” Chitty told jurors on Monday during opening statements in the case, and insisted that the federal government’s drug case against him left “more reasonable doubt than you can shake a stick at.”
There was nothing shaky about Elvao-Allocati’s testimony. He explained that he had known Reid for between 15 to 17 years. They made “small business” at first, and later made regular transactions of between 4 and 5 kilos of cocaine several times a year.
“I’d see him, give him a package, take the money and leave,” Elvao-Allocati said. The deals went down in Huntington Beach, Calif., but later expanded to Las Vegas and Mesquite.
Reid fell out of the picture following the pot bust in 2002.
“I said that you need to stop and do your time,” Elvao-Allocati told Reid after learning of the pot arrest. “He said he needed to make money and said I got a couple people who can do my business.”
Although Elvao-Allocati said he did not know Reid’s people, Reid said the new contacts were his good friends.
Soon Chitty was Elvao-Allocati new contact, according to prosecutors.
The prosecution is expected to present additional witnesses Wednesday morning before Chitty begins his defense.
If convicted on all counts, Chitty could receive a sentence of 20 years in prison