Alleged Aspen powder poachers to appear in court
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado
ASPEN ” A Coloradan and two Englishmen were identified Monday as the powder poachers cited this past weekend for allegedly skiing in a closed area at Aspen Highlands.
Charles Kashiwa, 23, of Denver; and Russell Francis, 51, and Adam Francis, 19, both of Beaconsfield, England, were arrested Sunday by Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputies for allegedly going into the G-9 portion of Highland Bowl. The elder Francis is Adam’s father.
Beaconsfield is about 25 miles northwest of London.
The men were each cited for violating the state’s skier safety act, and directed to appear in Pitkin County Court at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely will hear the case.
Deputy District Attorney Richard Nedlin said the men face a maximum fine of $1,000. They also face the possibility of losing their skiing privileges, as has typically been the case in similar circumstances.
“It’s a pretty serious situation if they are skiing out of bounds,” Nedlin said. “There’s a potential for disaster.”
He was referring to the possibility of an out-of-bounds skier or snowboarder setting off an avalanche.
Former Aspen ski patroller Cory Brettmann was killed earlier this month when he got caught in an avalanche on the backside of Aspen Mountain. Brettmann, 52, died after he was swept down a steep slope in an area known as Powerline just outside of the ski area boundary, according to the sheriff’s office.
His body was found at the bottom of the slide by a ski patrol team.
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In the six weeks since Independence Pass has been open this season, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office already has received 15 reports of semi-trucks trying to or actually driving over the pass.