Special prosecutor chosen for Aspen man’s drug case
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A special prosecutor has been assigned in the case against alleged heroin dealer Ryan Welgos of Aspen, authorities confirmed Wednesday. Deputy District Attorney Anne Francis was tabbed to handle the case.
She hails from the 5th Judicial District, which oversees Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake and Summit counties. Francis primarily prosecutes felony and juvenile cases.
Welgos, 31, has been awaiting a decision on a potential plea agreement that would call for him to plead guilty to attempted distribution of a schedule I controlled substance in Garfield County Court.
In exchange, Welgos would receive a suspended sentence of three to six years in prison, as long as he entered and completed drug court.
He faced nine felony counts, ranging from conspiracy to dis tribute a controlled schedule I substance to possession with intent to distribute a controlled schedule I substance. The deal, originally brokered in November, has been on hold because of a change in attorneys.
Snowmass Village attorney Arnold P. Mordkin had represent ed Welgos. But Mordkin had to withdraw from the case shortly after he brokered the agreement as he was set to head the District Attorney’s Office in Aspen.
Mordkin has since filled the position.
As a result, Carbondale defense attorney Chip McCrory agreed to take the case. A special prosecutor also had to be named in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest.
That prompted Judge Daniel Petre of Garfield County District Court to order new attorneys in the case to review the deal before he or another judge could potentially sign off on the proposal.
While McCrory has reviewed the deal it is not clear if Francis has been able to do the same given her recent appointment.
Welgos has been jailed since he was arrested June 19, with Nelson Gamez-Barriento in Silverthorne, after an investigation headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration. He is being held on $40,000 bond in the Garfield County jail.
The investigation stemmed form the March overdose death of Adam Ryan Peterson, who was visiting Aspen at the time of his death.
The case against Gamez-Barriento was transferred in mid-December to Summit County. He is to next appear in Summit County Court in February.
Gamez-Barriento is also known as Nelson Raul Gamez Barriento.
Welgos is to appear Feb. 20 in Garfield County Court, at which time the plea deal could be revisited. A change of venue motion, which was filed earlier this month, is also likely to be addressed.
That motion calls for the case to be transferred to Summit County.
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Memorial Day weekend will usher in the start of summer in Snowmass Village with the reopening of several restaurants as well as The Collective in Base Village.