Judge orders Aspen woman to pay $50K in cocaine case
ASPEN – The federal government’s drug case against a half-dozen local residents continues to wind down.
The latest development came Monday when a judge ordered Aspen resident Joan Anastasi to pay $50,000 to the government as part of a plea agreement arrangement she made with the prosecution.
The plea deal stipulates that Anastasi, 67, pay the funds in lieu of the government taking possession of her Hunter Creek condominium unit, which had been subject to a civil forfeiture as part of the bust.
Judge Marcia S. Krieger, during the 63-minute hearing in the U.S. District Court of Denver, also granted the prosecution’s motion for “downward departure,” which is legalese for reducing terms of the sentence from the advisory range.
Anastasi won’t get any jail time, instead serving three years of supervised release and 10 months of home detention, according to court documents.
The prosecution noted that Anastasi provided it “substantial assistance” in its investigation, documents say.
Anastasi, who was represented by Boulder attorney James Jenkins, is one of six Aspen-area residents and four Southern California men indicted by a federal grand jury on April 19, 2011. They were arrested by members of the Drug Enforcement Administration and aiding agencies exactly one month later.
In January, Anastasi pleaded guilty to one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Prosecutors, in court filings, say agents found nearly 227 grams of cocaine at her home at the time of the arrest.
After the Drug Enforcement Administration made the bust last year, it said it had dismantled a drug-trafficking ring that had run cocaine between Aspen and Los Angeles for 15 years. The indictment says that from July 2010 through April, the defendants conspired to own and sell more than 11 pounds of cocaine.
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