Kilo of cocaine seized, two arrested | AspenTimes.com

Kilo of cocaine seized, two arrested

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Drug enforcement officers seized more than a kilo of cocaine at the Redstone Inn and arrested two kitchen workers on Friday during an investigation of a large-scale drug trafficking ring.

Octavio Garcia Aguirre, 24, and Cesar Esparza Joya, 31, are both charged with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of cocaine and conspiracy to distribute cocaine, all felonies. More arrests are expected, according to a press release from the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT).

The cocaine, which weighed 2.4 pounds, was seized in one prepackaged “brick” and one “broken brick,” along with a scale, $650 in cash and packaging material. The cocaine has a street value of more than $80,000. A kilo is equivalent to 2.2 pounds.

The Carbondale Police Department assisted in the investigation.

The suspects are residents of Redstone, 15 miles outside Carbondale up the Crystal River Valley. The Immigration and Naturalization Service has placed a hold on the suspects.

Debby Strom, general manager of the Redstone Inn, released a statement on Tuesday that no other employees or the management have been implicated in the investigation.

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“We are cooperating with the law investigation in every aspect,” Strom said, adding that the Inn has 43 other employees that are “honest, hardworking and dedicated.”

“This is a small community and rumors go wild,” she said in an interview. “I wanted the community to know that it’s in no way associated to the Redstone Inn.”

Although Strom said she didn’t think the two men arrested had been selling to their co-workers, she did say she has asked several people lingering around the Inn not to return, when she suspected they could have been involved in drug deals.

“My understanding is that [cocaine] is all over this valley,” she said. “I’ve just seen many ruined lives. To be honest, I hate cocaine.”

[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com]

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