Probation for Aspen man caught with pills |

Probation for Aspen man caught with pills

After getting caught with nearly 100 prescription pills last winter, a local 18-year-old man will spend the next two years on probation, a judge ruled Monday.

However, if Antolin Carreno-Rodas stays out of trouble for the next two years, his guilty plea to felony drug possession with intent to distribute will be wiped from his record, according to his plea deal with the District Attorney’s Office. He also pleaded guilty to careless driving.

Lawson Wills, Carreno-Rodas’ lawyer, said the teen, who was born and raised in the Aspen area, has had trouble figuring out the next step in his life after graduating from high school.

“He looked for a way to make some free money,” Wills told District Judge Chris Seldin during his client’s sentencing hearing Monday. “I think (getting caught) was probably a blessing.”

Carreno-Rodas hit a fire hydrant on West Buttermilk Road in December and crashed a Chevy Suburban into a ditch, according to court records. The tow truck driver who pulled the car out called authorities after Carreno-Rodas left the scene, and Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies pulled him over soon after.

Deputies then learned Carreno-Rodas’ driver’s license was revoked, records show. And after he allowed them to search his car, they discovered 94 Xanax pills and a “bullet” used to snort and store cocaine, according to court records.

Seldin warned Carreno-Rodas on Monday that the felony conviction hanging over his head is serious and could have lifelong impacts if he gets in trouble in the next two years and it remains on his record.

“It will really make your life hard for the rest of your life,” the judge said. “The stakes are high for you now, so keep that in mind.”

Seldin ordered Carreno-Rodas to undergo a substance-abuse evaluation, have his sobriety monitored, stay away from alcohol, marijuana and other drugs and perform 50 hours of community service.

Carreno-Rodas acknowledged Monday that it’s “time to be an adult and step up” and that he wanted to put the incident with the drugs behind him.

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