DEA nabs at least four in Aspen drug sweep
ASPEN – Members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency took at least four longtime locals, all in their 60s, into custody Thursday following a sweep through the Aspen area, officials confirmed.
DEA officials would not release any details about the detainments; a press release is expected to be released sometime Friday.
“At this point we can’t say anything,” said Special Agent Michael Turner, who works at the DEA’s Denver office.
Another DEA special agent, Jim Schrant, said specifics would not be released Thursday “because we’re still in an operational phase.”
The four detainees are Joan Susan Anastasi, 66, of Aspen; Joseph James Burke, 63, of Aspen Village; Jack Lee Fellner, 61, of Aspen; and Wayne Alan Reid, 65, of Aspen. They were being held in the Garfield County Jail as of 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Booking information provided by the records department of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office did not list the pending charges against suspects.
Anastasi, Burke and Fellner were all booked before 11 a.m. Reid was booked at 12:21 p.m. Those close to the apprehensions say they were made without incident.
Aspen and Pitkin County’s law-enforcement heads were notified by the DEA on Thursday morning before the sweep took place. Neither the Aspen Police Department nor the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office provided mutual aid to the DEA, officials said.
“We did not provide any assistance,” said Aspen Police Chief Richard Pryor.
Said Sheriff Joe DiSalvo: “We provided no assistance to the DEA and no inmates went through our jail. We offered no mutual aid.”
The detainment of Reid, meanwhile, comes after Mesa County sheriff’s deputies arrested him April 8 on cocaine distribution charges on Interstate 70 near the Rabbit Valley Exit.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Reid was pulled over after the Chevrolet Malibu rental car that he was driving was clocked going 80 mph in a 75-mph zone. After he was stopped, deputies noticed that his driver’s license had a special provision that he could only drive with a breath-alcohol interlock device, which the rental car did not have.
Reid, according to the affidavit, “appeared extremely nervous” when deputies questioned him. He was then booked for failing to drive without an interlock device. Deputies then arranged to have the vehicle towed to the nearest Avis car rental business; in the meantime, the deputies’ inventory search of the vehicle yielded a brick of cocaine weighing more than 1 kilogram, the affidavit says.
The case in Mesa County against Reid is pending. The primary charge against him is distribution of 1,000 or more grams of cocaine, a class-three felony.
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Perhaps it’s because we are in the abbreviated days of winter and I instinctively know that the sun is shining down-under. But every January I go through a nostalgic period where Australian wine dominates my mind.