Feds arrest Aspen postal worker in wake of weapons discovery | AspenTimes.com

Feds arrest Aspen postal worker in wake of weapons discovery

Rick Carroll
The Aspen Times

Authorities arrested a man Wednesday in the wake of allegations he had illegal weapons on the property of the Aspen post office, a federal violation.

Federal agents hauled Mauro Pennini, 56, of Aspen away from Pitkin County Jail shortly before 2 p.m. He was taken to Mesa County Jail where he was to be held before appearing in federal court in Grand Junction, said Pitkin County Jail Administrator Don Bird.

Federal court records related to Pennini’s case weren’t immediately available. Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Officer in Denver, declined to comment about the case.

Aspen attorney Richard Nedlin, who represents Pennini in his Pitkin County cases, said he had not seen the warrant.

“I don’t know what the warrant is for,” he said. “I don’t really know anything, and I haven’t received a call from Mr. Pennini.”

The arrest comes after Pitkin County Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely on Tuesday placed a cash-only $10,000 bond on Pennini in connection to a misdemeanor harassment charge. Pennini is accused of harassing a person who also received a court-approved protection order against him.

Aspen police arrested Pennini on June 8 at the post office after the protected party reported that the suspect violated the no-contact order. Police said Pennini, a mail sorter at the post office, had a switchblade knife in the left front pocket of his pants, while his backpack — found in the post office locker room — contained a handgun loaded with 14 rounds, two sets of handcuffs and 26 additional rounds of ammunition.

Pennini bonded out of jail after the June 8 arrest, but police arrested him again Tuesday on harassment. The alleged victim told police Pennini threatened to kill her.

Pennini is due back in Pitkin County Court on July 14, but federal charges would trump his local cases, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Andrea Bryan.

“Federal charges take precedent over state charges, and it can be difficult to writ someone from federal custody,” she said.

Should Pennini be released from federal custody, he will be extradited to the Pitkin County Jail, Bryan said.