Area man fingered for allegedly selling coke, growing pot
September 2, 2009
PITKIN COUNTY – An undercover investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT) netted the arrest of a Basalt-area resident Tuesday on suspicion of cocaine distribution and the cultivation of marijuana.
Keith Timothy Pfeiffer, 56, was advised Wednesday in the chambers of Pitkin County District Judge James Boyd, who set the suspect’s bond at $50,000.
He was arrested at his Lazy Glen trailer home, located between Old Snowmass and Basalt, in unincorporated Pitkin County, by county Sheriff’s Deputy Ron Ryan, along with DEA and TRIDENT agents. The sheriff’s office did not participate in the investigation but provided aid on the arrest, said Sheriff Bob Braudis.
An affidavit in support of an arrest warrant, written by DEA special agent David Storm, says Pfeiffer became targeted in a drug probe that began in early August, during which time an undercover buyer twice purchased cocaine from the suspect, and arranged for another acquisition.
Storm met with the covert buyer, who was originally considered a “source of information,” on Aug. 17. That day, the source provided Storm with a sample of marijuana he obtained from Pfeiffer, as well as a video of marijuana plants being grown at the suspect’s residence, located at 91 Lazy Glen, the affidavit says.
The next day, the source bought $140 in cocaine from Pfeiffer, who also taught the covert buyer how to make bindles “to facilitate the retail sale of cocaine,” Storm wrote.
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On Aug. 21, the source allegedly bought an eight-ball (3 1/2 grams) of cocaine from Pfeiffer for $150. The transaction was caught on an audio tape, Storm wrote.
And Sunday, the confidential source called Pfeiffer, at his home, to arrange the purchase of one-half ounce of cocaine from the suspect’s supplier, Storm wrote. Pfeiffer arranged for the two to meet, and also gave the undercover agent an unspecified amount of marijuana clippings, Storm wrote.
“The [confidential source] informed [special agent] Storm that the marijuana clippings were harvest from Pfeiffer’s growing operation,” the affidavit says.
Pfeiffer faces two class-three felony counts of distribution of a schedule-two substance (cocaine), two class-three felony charges of possession with intent to distribute a schedule-two substance (cocaine), one class-four felony possession of a controlled schedule-two substance (cocaine), and a class-four felony of cultivation of marijuana, according to court papers filed by Deputy District Attorney Richard Nedlin.
The cocaine distribution charges carry prison sentences between four and 16 years, along with fines ranging from $3,000 to $750,000. The intent to distribute charges carry the same punishment, while the cocaine possession charge calls for a prison term of two to six years and fines from $2,000 to $500,000. Likewise, a prison sentence of two to six years, and fines of between $2,000 and $500,000, come with a marijuana cultivation conviction.
Pfeiffer asked for a personal recognizance bond, but the judge declined.
“I live on one check a month that pays electricity and utilities,” he told Boyd, adding that he has resided in the area since 1971.
Boyd, however, kept the bond at $50,000, after Nedlin, the prosecutor, told him that Pfeiffer has had “numerous alcohol related offenses” as well as a failure to appear violation in 1999, one felony habitual traffic offense, and a violation of probation conviction.
As of Wednesday evening, Pfeiffer remained in the custody of the Pitkin County jail.
Pfeiffer made headlines in June 2007, when the state’s wildlife division cited him for illegally shooting a black bear yearling.