Federal warrant latest twist in Aspen postal worker’s weapons, harassment cases | AspenTimes.com

Federal warrant latest twist in Aspen postal worker’s weapons, harassment cases

Rick Carroll
The Aspen Times
Mauro Pennini

A prosecutor announced in court Wednesday that a federal warrant has been issued for the arrest of Mauro Pennini, a postal worker apprehend by Aspen police last week on an alleged protection-order violation and possession of an illegal weapon.

Prosecutor Michael Warren notified the court of the warrant during a hearing for Pennini, 56, who was arrested again this week on a harassment charge involving the same alleged victim.

Defense attorney Richard Nedlin argued that the new charge stems from allegations made by the protected party “two, three, four months ago.” Nedlin argued that the charge is an “end around way” for authorities to take away Pennini’s firearms in the wake of the June 8 arrest at the Aspen post office. There, police arrested the mail sorter on an alleged protection-order violation, subsequently finding a switchblade in the suspect’s pants pocket and a loaded handgun in his locker. The search was done with Pennini’s consent, police said.

Meanwhile, Nedlin said the arrest warrant affidavit for the latest arrest had no grounding in fact. “There’s no finding whatsoever that Mr. Pennini was homicidal,” he argued.

Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely, however, issued a cash-only bond of $10,000 for the new charge.

“The allegation is that Mr. Pennini has said (to the accuser) that he will put a bullet in her head,” the judge said. “And she does think he will kill her over the allegations he’s hearing now.”

The judge noted that Pennini’s flight risk is “significant now” with the federal warrant.

Nedlin argued the federal warrant shouldn’t affect the county case. He also contended Warren’s talk of the warrant was not supported by any facts.

“If there’s a federal warrant, let’s see the warrant,” he said.

Warren said, “The easiest way to do this is to keep him in custody until (Wednesday) and have the federal government arrest him.”

Pennini is due back in county court Friday.