Drugs land drunk man in Aspen jail

A 29-year-old man who was so drunk outside an Aspen bar early Monday that police were going to take him to detox instead arrested him for drug possession, according to police.

Dennis Mckeon first drew the attention of an Aspen police officer just after 2 a.m., when the officer saw an employee of Eric’s Bar escort him out of the building, according to an affidavit filed in Aspen District Court.

Mckeon tried to re-enter the bar, but the employee stopped him. He then approached the police officer and wanted to talk with him, but could not stand up or speak coherently, the affidavit states.

“He would start a sentence, but then either trail off or stop speaking,” Officer Adriano Minniti wrote in the affidavit. “He started to lose his balance a couple of times, so I had him sit down.”

Mckeon gave the officer his middle name as his first name, could not say where he was going and couldn’t remember where he lived, according to the affidavit.

“He couldn’t articulate anything intelligible,” Minniti wrote.

The officer then decided that Mckeon was too intoxicated to care for himself and told him he would be taken to the area’s involuntary detox center. But while emptying Mckeon’s pockets, the officer found a scale “covered in an unknown white, powdery substance,” pill capsules, a plastic bindle filled with an unknown white, powdery substance, a $20 bill folded into a bindle containing more white powder as well as a rolled-up $20 bill, the affidavit states.

Asked if the capsules were vitamins, Mckeon said, “No vitamins,” according to the affidavit.

A preliminary test indicated the powder in the two bindles was cocaine, which weighed a total of 3.3 grams, the affidavit states.

Mckeon was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Pitkin County Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely allowed him out of jail Monday on a $2,000 personal recognizance bond and ordered him to undergo sobriety monitoring.


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