Aspen police release name of alleged Bentley’s fugitive
ASPEN – Aspen police on Friday released the name of second kitchen worker they suspect was selling cocaine from Bentley’s at the Wheeler.
Police say the suspect, Marco Antonio Ruiz Leal, 38, has been on the lam since they executed a search warrant on his Aspen residence Feb. 12 and allegedly found 38 grams of cocaine and $1,400 in cash. Police were acting on information they received earlier in the day when they spent nearly three hours at the downtown tavern and seized 60 grams of cocaine and $2,500 in cash.
Two kitchen workers were arrested as part of the Bentley’s sweep.
Raul Perez Cortes, 50, of Aspen appeared Monday in Pitkin County District Court to answer the felony charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, 25 to 450 grams. A conviction carries four to 16 years in the Department of Corrections.
A second suspect, Vicente Vasquez Gomez, 27, of parts unknown, faces the class-three misdemeanor charge of false reporting, which carries up to six months in county jail or a $750 fine.
Both defendants are in Pitkin County Jail, where bail is set at $20,000 for Cortes and $750 for Gomez. Authorities, however, say each one was working in the country illegally – Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers have been placed on them both.
Leal, meanwhile, was not present when police searched his home.
Assistant District Attorney Arnold Mordkin said it’s likely he has left the area, which is why police released his name Friday.
“Sometimes when you think a guy is going to run, you don’t release information about them,” Mordkin said. “This guy has apparently already done that.”
The downtown restaurant bust came after the Basalt Police Department several weeks ago received video evidence showing “individuals packaging a white powdery substance on food preparation surfaces in the kitchen at Bentley’s,” according to a press release from the Aspen police.
The search warrants remain under seal.
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