Pitkin County court roundup: Plea deal in pot-growing case
ASPEN – A Snowmass Village man who was arrested for allegedly growing marijuana in his employee housing unit reached a plea agreement with prosecutors Monday.
Scott Brown, 32, pleaded guilty in Pitkin County District Court to felony possession of more than 8 ounces of marijuana in exchange for the dismissal of the class-four felony count of cultivating and growing pot.
Snowmass police arrested Brown in September after receiving a tip that he was growing pot in his Mountain View housing unit. An estimated 30 marijuana plants were found, police said.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors have agreed to suggest a two-year deferred judgment at Brown’s Feb. 8 sentencing hearing.
In other court news:
• Dale Ian Hughes pleaded guilty to felony menacing for making violent threats outside of the Seasons Four Condominiums in Snowmass Village.
Hughes, according to prosecutor Arnold Mordkin, wielded an ax and scissors on the evening of Sept. 23, and made verbal threats about harming people.
Judge James Boyd tentatively agreed to a one-year deferred judgment for Hughes, who will be sentenced Feb. 8.
• Prosecutors filed four felony drug counts against John Szabo, 30, of Aspen.
Szabo was arrested in December after police visited his Cemetery Lane residence on Oct. 7 to return items that were allegedly stolen from his house Sept. 11. Police already had arrested two Aspen High School students on suspicion of felony burglary and theft when $1,300 in cash went missing from Szabo’s filing cabinet.
While investigating the crime, police learned that Szabo might have been dealing drugs, which likely was the impetus for the burglary, according to a police statement. A subsequent search unveiled mushrooms, chocolate mushrooms, mushroom powder, hash and a small tube coated with white powdery residue, according to police.
His next hearing is scheduled Feb. 8.
• A four-count indictment was filed against Seth Baxter, 20, of Aspen who police say committed credit card fraud at Bad Billy’s by buying drinks for himself and friends in December.
Baxter is charged with two class-four felonies of identity theft, and two counts of unauthorized use of a financial device.
• The sentencing hearing for Aaron Michael Anderson was rescheduled for Jan. 11.
Anderson could not attend because he had to undergo a medical procedure at Aspen Valley Hospital. He should be able to attend Monday’s hearing, a jailer told the court.
Anderson, 34, faces two to six years in the Department of Corrections. He originally faced eight to 32 years behind bars for criminal attempt to commit second-degree homicide, and four to 16 years for a second-degree assault charge.
Anderson was arrested Sept. 3 after he allegedly punched, elbowed and pinned down his then-girlfriend, who suffered cuts to her eye, ear, cheekbone, right foot, right shin, right forearm, abdomen and throat. He also allegedly told her that “I will drive you up Independence Pass and throw your body off a cliff so no one can find you. I will then kill your mother.”
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Social media sites exploded with activity on Monday night as locals posted pictures of a mushroom cloud formation visible from most of Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties.