Cocaine suspect fails to deliver himself to court
A $100,000 warrant was issued yesterday for the arrest of Hiroatsu Nishikawa, an Aspen resident arrested last year after a package of cocaine bearing his name was delivered to the wrong address.
Nishikawa, 39, failed to show up for his 9 a.m. trial yesterday in district court. Nishikawa was charged with attempting to possess and distribute more than 450 grams of cocaine, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and attempting to induce the importation of cocaine.
If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence on the drug charges of eight years in prison, according to Deputy District Attorney Lawson Wills. Although he refused to speculate on Nishikawa’s whereabouts, Wills pointed out that the defendant is a Japanese native.
Nishikawa made headlines late last year after a package containing 1.6 pounds of cocaine was delivered to 824 Vine St. in Aspen, at the Hunter Creek condominiums. Nishikawa lived at 624 Vine St., but the person who sent the drugs wrote down the wrong address. After the woman living at 824 Vine opened the package, she called police.
After visiting the post office several times, Nishikawa was told the package had been delivered to the wrong address. When he went to the woman’s house to claim the package, she reportedly told him it had been given to the police.
Nishikawa was arrested the next day, Oct. 17, 1998. He was freed from jail shortly after being arrested by raising a $25,000 bond through a Loveland bail bondsman, Wills said.
Nishikawa’s attorney was in district court Monday night to report that his client had not contacted him for several weeks, and failed to meet him Sunday evening, as planned. Judge J.E. DeVilbiss noted the defendant’s absence, and directed the court clerk to notify people in the jury pool of the situation.
After Nishikawa did not show up for trial yesterday, DeVilbiss issued the warrant and seized the $25,000 bond. Wills said immigration authorities will be notified, so if Nishikawa did leave the country, he can be arrested when and if he returns.
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