Late paperwork lets suspects in 29-pound meth deal leave Garfield County jail without bail | AspenTimes.com

Late paperwork lets suspects in 29-pound meth deal leave Garfield County jail without bail

Thomas Phippen
Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Four people suspected of selling 29 pounds of meth to undercover officers in Glenwood Springs were released without bail this week after paperwork in the case was filed late.

Garfield County’s drug task force arrested three men and a woman Nov. 15 for allegedly bringing the drugs Glenwood Springs at the request of undercover officers.

The four suspects, who apparently reside in California, received personal recognizance bonds. That means cash up-front was not required for them to be released, “due to the court not having been able to review ‘probable cause’ within 48 hours of their arrest,” District Attorney Jeff Cheney said in a statement.

They were arrested Friday but the affidavit for warrantless arrest was not filed until Monday, well past the 48-hour rule for judicial review.

The Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT) had been in contact with someone in Mexico while pretending to be drug dealers since October.

Their contact initially agreed to send 2 pounds of methamphetamine to Glenwood Springs for $1,500, and the TRIDENT officer wired the money.

The contact then said it wasn’t possible to send 2 pounds of methamphetamine “due to the present security of the border,” according to arrest documents, but promised to send 30 pounds for $75,000 through another contact named Jose. The TRIDENT officer agreed to the deal.

The driver was allegedly going to drive through the night from Tuscon, Arizona, and meet the undercover officers in Glenwood Springs. The contact was late to the Nov. 14 rendezvous and didn’t arrive until Nov. 15 around noon.

The task force, coordinating with Glenwood Springs Police and other drug task force agencies, waited much of the night for the arrival of the shipment, but eventually called it off.

Around noon Nov. 15, the alleged drug dealer informed the undercover TRIDENT officer that he had arrived. Other officers were observing two vehicles, a Chevrolet Silverado and a Chevrolet Camaro, parked near a convenience store in Glenwood Springs.

While the undercover officer was on the phone with the alleged dealer, the cops saw a man in the Camaro communicating by cellphone.

The undercover officer asked to meet the dealer at a gas station, and while the Camaro got onto Interstate 70, a Colorado State Patrol trooper pulled the car over.

The two male occupants, later identified as Francisco Alejandro-Escobar, 21, and Christopher Paredes-Moreno, 21, verbally consented to a vehicle search, according to the affidavit.

In the trunk of the car where the spare tire should have been, the trooper located a black duffle back with 28 plastic bags containing a crystalline substance that later tested positive for methamphetamine.

Garfield County Sheriff’s officers then pulled over the Silverado and arrested the two occupants, Jose Santos Trochez-Sanchez, 27, who allegedly was communicating with the undercover TRIDENT officers, and a Karen Paredes, who was with two children.

Paredes gave consent to a vehicle search, according to the affidavit, but despite a K-9 handler indicating that a dog detected the presence of drugs, no illegal substances were found in the vehicle.

All four were granted personal recognizance bonds with high amounts. All of them have been released without having to pay the bond amount, but they will face hefty fines if they fail to make a court appearance scheduled Dec. 12.


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