Hearing on plea deal delayed in Aspen drug case
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A hearing on a potential plea agreement for suspected heroin dealer Ryan Welgos of Aspen was postponed Thursday morning, as the prosecution was once again unable to proceed with the case.
That marked the third such delay in the past two months. Senior District Court Judge Ed Ruland set a subsequent hearing Jan. 22 in Garfield County Court, at which time the plea deal is to be revisited.
The postponement was largely the result of a special prosecutor not having been assigned to the case, though an order authorizing such an appointment was signed last month by a judge.
The deal calls for Welgos, 31, to plead guilty to attempted distribution of a schedule I controlled substance. In exchange, Welgos would receive a suspended sentence of three to six years in prison, provided he entered and completed drug court. The district attorney’s office would drop also a number of other felony counts against the suspect.
Welgos has been locked up since he was arrested June 19, along with Nelson Raul-Gamez, in Silverthorne, Colo., after a three-month investigation headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The investigation stemmed from the March overdose death of Adam Ryan Peterson, who was visiting Aspen at the time he died.
The case against Raul-Gamez was transferred last month to Summit County.
Gregory Elston, a third suspect in the case, was given a two-year deferred sentence, and two years of supervised probation, for possession of a schedule II substance as part of plea agreement he reached in October.
As part of the deal, prosecutors dropped a heroin distribution charge against Elston, an Aspen resident.
Elston was also ordered to complete 75 hours of community service, undergo random drug and alcohol testing, not possess or consume alcohol or illegal drugs and continue with a therapy regimen.
Elston was sentenced Dec. 1, about two months after he surrendered to Aspen police on Oct. 2 on an outstanding warrant that alleged he supplied heroin to Peterson.
See Friday’s Aspen Times for more on Thursday’s court proceedings.
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