Alleged Aspen drug dealer to attend Sober College
ASPEN – An 18-year-old man recently arrested on allegations of Ecstasy distribution was given clearance by a judge Thursday to attend Sober College in California, a drug rehabilitation program for adults 17 to 26 years old.
Judge Gail Nichols also reduced the bond from $50,000 to $15,000 for Max Brandon Puder, of Aspen. Aspen police arrested Puder on Christmas Eve on suspicion of selling the Schedule I drug on the exit stairs of the Belly Up nightclub.
Puder posted bond Thursday and was scheduled to board a flight out of Aspen at 7 that evening, said his attorney Yale Galanter.
“We’re going to take him home, clean him up, pack his bags and take him to the 7 p.m. plane,” said Galanter, who also defended O.J. Simpson in his Las Vegas robbery case, and is currently counsel for Charlie Sheen’s ex-wife Brooke Mueller, in her assault and attempted cocaine distribution case in Aspen. Galanter was accompanied by Aspen attorney Richard Cummins, who also represents Mueller.
Puder, who had previous run-ins with the law when he was a juvenile, told Nichols he plans to get his act together.
“I think I’m going to turn it around, right here,” he said.
Nichols remarked that Puder has potential.
“I wish you the best,” she said. “You are very smart and articulate.”
Local drug counselor Brad Osborn told the judge that Puder seems to understand the gravity of the charges and his predicament.
“He just spent a week in jail,” Osborn said. “He’s in big trouble, and I believe he understands that.”
Nichols emphasized to Puder that his parents have provided him unyielding support through his court cases.
“A lot of people are working hard [for you],” she told him.
Puder, who will attend the college for a minimum of six months, won’t be required to attend all of the court proceedings connected to the case in Pitkin County District Court. Nichols set Feb. 13 as a review date for the case.
The former Aspen High School student faces two felonies: unlawful distribution of a Schedule 1 controlled substance and possession of more than 4 grams of a Schedule 1 controlled substance. The distribution count carries four to 16 years in prison; the possession charge carries two to six years of incarceration. He also faces one misdemeanor offense of resisting arrest – police claimed they had to Taser him because he initially fled the scene.
The alleged buyer, Michael Adriane Dufresne, 30, of Woody Creek, initially escaped police when they tried to arrest him. But police, after confirming his identity, arrested him Tuesday night at his home.
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