Aspen burglary victim nabbed on drug suspicion
December 16, 2009
ASPEN – An Aspen man whose home was burglarized in September was arrested Tuesday, two months after police went to his home to return some stolen items and unearthed an alleged stash of illegal drugs.
John Carl Szabo, 29, was advised of the felony counts against him Wednesday in Pitkin County District Court. He is free on $5,000 bond.
Szabo faces two class-three felonies connected to possession of mushrooms, a schedule-one substance. He also faces a class-six felony for possession of cocaine, and two petty offenses connected to alleged marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession.
The arrest of Szabo comes after police visited his Cemetery Lane residence on Oct. 7 to return items that were allegedly stolen from his house Sept. 11. Police already had arrested two Aspen High School students on suspicion of felony burglary and theft when $1,300 in cash went missing from Szabo’s filing cabinet.
While investigating the crime, police learned that Szabo might have been dealing drugs, which likely was the impetus for the burglary, according to a statement by Aspen police Investigator Ian MacAyeal.
Meanwhile, when MacAyeal and Detective Chris Womack visited Szabo’s residence to return the stolen property, they also talked to him about his alleged role as a drug dealer.
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Szabo provided the detectives consent to search his bedroom, in which Szabo told the officers there was a “little bit of hash” in his sock drawer, according to MacAyeal’s statement.
The search also unveiled mushrooms, chocolate mushrooms, mushroom powder, hash and a small tube coated with white powdery residue, according to MacAyeal’s statement.
The substances were submitted to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations lab for analysis. On Dec. 7, the CBI said the substances were illegal drugs, leading to a warrant for Szabo’s arrest.