February trial date set in Aspen drug network case
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
DENVER – A federal judge set a week-long trial in February for those indicted in April by a grand jury for the trafficking of cocaine between Los Angeles and Denver over a 15-year period. Six Aspen-area defendants are among them.
Judge Marcia S. Krieger issued her ruling Friday in the U.S. District Court of Denver, following the government’s motion to declare the case complex. By declaring the case complex, in part, the judge waived the defendants’ rights to a speedy trial. However, none of the defendants contested the motion to declare the case complex, paving the way for the judge’s ruling.
The trial, which originally had been scheduled to start Monday, is now set for Feb. 14-20. The defense has until Nov. 14 to file motions connected to the case.
On May 19 – one month after the grand jury indictments were issued – authorities led by members of the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested Aspen-area locals Joan Anastasi, 67; Joseph James Burke, 63; Jack Fellner, 61; Wayne Alan Reid, 65; and Peggy Schlauger, 41, at either their homes or workplaces. A sixth local suspect, Christopher James Sheehan, 65, was picked up in the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport after he disembarked from a Costa Rica flight.
Reid faces one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine; six counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and aiding and abetting; and two counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine and aiding and abetting.
Anastasi, Burke, Fellner and Sheehan face identical charges: one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilos or more of cocaine; and one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine and aiding and abetting.
Schlauger faces one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilos or more of cocaine.
Convictions could lead to 10 years to life in prison for all six Aspen defendants, along with fines up to $10 million.
The grand jury also indicted Valentin Barrios, 42, Anthony Buchanan, 67, Alfonso Elvao-Allocati, 70, and Jesse Trujillo, 33, all of Los Angeles. Trujillo remains a fugitive.
Allocati, Reid and Sheehan remain in federal custody without bonds. The other six defendants are free on $20,000 bonds.
Sheehan is appealing a magistrate judge’s order to keep him incarcerated without bond. A hearing has been set for July 26 in Denver’s federal court.