Police: Aspen mail sorter had pistol at post office | AspenTimes.com

Police: Aspen mail sorter had pistol at post office

Rick Carroll
The Aspen Times

Aspen police arrested a mail sorter Monday on suspicion of having a switchblade and loaded handgun on the premises of the Aspen post office.

Mauro Emilio Pennini, 56, was taken into custody on charges of possession of illegal weapons and violation of a restraining order.

Police also notified Pennini’s supervisor, Reza Tehrani, of the weapons. Tehrani declined to comment about the incident Wednesday, referring questions to the U.S. Postal Service’s Colorado spokesperson, who could not be immediately reached.

“Because of the sensitivity of this, I really can’t comment,” Tehrani said. He declined to say if Pennini remains a postal employee.

Police learned of the alleged weapons after receiving a call regarding a protection order violation.

That prompted police to visit Pennini at his workplace, the post office, located at 235 Puppy Smith St.

As they arrested him for violation of the protection order, they removed a knife from the left front pocket of his pants. The knife was a switchblade, considered an illegal weapon under state law, the police report says.

Police also inspected Pennini’s locker with his permission, finding an open backpack. Pennini also allowed authorities to inspect his backpack, the report says.

“Out of concern for everyone’s safety at the scene, (Officer Kirk) Wheatley opened the pack and observed a Sig Sauer semi-automatic handgun in the pocket,” the report says. “Wheatley later confirmed the pistol to be fully loaded with 14 rounds of live ammunition, was accompanied with 28 additional rounds of ammunition, two sets of handcuffs, three folding knives and one multi-tool.”

Pennini is out of jail on bond. He was advised of the charges Tuesday in Pitkin County Court.

Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn said Pennini later came by the police department to retrieve his gun.

“We told him he would need to go through the courts to file a motion to have the weapons returned,” Linn said.

Pennini’s cellphone — the number was contained in the police report — was not operational Wednesday, and he couldn’t be reached for comment.