Judge will allow drug-case evidence | AspenTimes.com

Judge will allow drug-case evidence

John Colson

A local judge decided not to throw out evidence being used in a drug case against Thomas Colver, an Aspen teen-ager who also is accused of involvement in a recent crime spree in the area.

Thomas Colver, 19, was arrested Aug. 14 by two Aspen police officers after being searched during a car stop after midnight in downtown Aspen.

He was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of psilocybin (a hallucinogenic mushroom) and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court documents.

Colver was a passenger in a car stopped by the police, after it had been reportedly seen speeding into town, according to the affidavit.

The car was driven by another Aspenite, Tony Rizzuto, 19, who is also one of the local teen-agers charged in connection with the crime spree.

Colver, who had not been charged with robbery at that point, was recognized by one of the police officers as “an investigative lead in a current case” in which guns reportedly were used, according to court documents. That case turned out to be an armed robbery at the Aspen Alps on Aug. 4, in which Rizzuto also is charged.

According to police, when Colver stepped out of the car and was searched, Officer Bill Linn allegedly found a bag of marijuana in one of Colver’s socks and arrested him.

The officer then searched the car, according to the affidavit, and found “multiple baggies” allegedly containing psilocybin mushrooms, hidden beneath the seat of the car.

Colver’s attorney argued that the police did not have the authority to search the car or to reach into Colver’s sock.

But 9th Judicial District Judge J.E. DeVilbiss ruled that the search was legal. He said that, given the fact that robberies had occurred in Aspen only a week or so earlier, and that police were worried about suspects who might be armed, it was “not inappropriate” for them to conduct such a search.

The drug case against Colver, in which he faces several felony charges, will proceed concurrently with the Aspen Alps robbery case. The next hearing will be on Jan. 10.


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