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Aspen heroin suspect to stand trial

Wyatt Haupt Jr.
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ”  A man suspected of playing a key role in a heroin distribution ring in Aspen will head to trial after he rejected a plea deal, authorities said Tuesday.

Nelson Gamez-Barriento, of Aurora, is accused of distribution of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. His trial is to begin May 26 in Summit County.

Gamez-Barriento faces a maximum of 32 years in prison for each alleged offense, said Deputy District Attorney Anne Francis of the 5th Judicial District.



He was arrested June 19 in Silverthorne along with Ryan Welgos of Aspen. The arrests came on the heels of a three-month long investigation headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The investigation stemmed from the March overdose death of Adam Ryan Peterson in Aspen, who was visiting the area at the time.




Welgos pleaded guilty Feb. 20 in Garfield County District Court to one felony count of attempted distribution of a controlled substance. He faces up to six years in state prison. Welgos is to be sentenced April 20.

Gregory Elston, a third suspect in the case, was given a two-year deferred sentence and two years of supervised probation for possession of a controlled substance as part of a plea deal.


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