Aspen man pleads guilty in cocaine case |

Aspen man pleads guilty in cocaine case

ASPEN – An Aspen man pleaded guilty Monday to possessing more than 4 grams of cocaine stemming from his October 2010 arrest.

Justin Gordon, 34, faces two to six years in state prison for the felony conviction. However, a deal he and public defender Tina Fang struck with prosecutor Arnold Mordkin stipulates he be given a three-year deferred judgment and probationary period.

All other counts against Gordon, including intent to distribute cocaine, were dismissed as part of the deal. His sentencing date is scheduled June 4.

Suppression issues had plagued the case. Aspen police initially arrested Gordon on Oct. 1, 2010, on a disorderly conduct charge over a disturbance at Eric’s Bar in downtown Aspen. But police later found 13 grams of cocaine left on the street, cocaine they said belonged to Gordon. And one week later, a taxi driver told police that he saw the bag of cocaine fall out of Gordon’s pocket, prompting police to arrest him later that month on cocaine charges.

While District Judge Gail Nichols had said in September, following a preliminary hearing, that the evidence was “slim” against Gordon, she still bound it over for trial. A trial had been scheduled for May.

Fang noted at Monday’s hearing that the plea agreement reflects the best deal possible for Gordon.

“I just want to avoid jail,” Gordon said.

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