State liquor agency looking into arrests at local eateries
Investigators from the state’s liquor enforcement agency have questioned managers at several Aspen restaurants and bars in the wake of the controversial arrests on Dec. 2.The raids on Little Annie’s Eating House and Cooper Street Pier included officers from the Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division, part of the state Department of Revenue.The officers came back a few days later to talk with local restaurant managers, said Chris Womack, an Aspen Police Department detective.Cooper Street manager Charles Wolf said the liquor investigators have been talking to “everyone.” He said he was not concerned about the officers looking into potential violations of Cooper Street’s liquor license.”Of course they have questions, [but] it’s just the normal follow-up after such an incident that they’re doing,” Wolf said. “They’ve been going from establishment to establishment. They wanted to talk to just about everyone they can contact easily.”He wouldn’t discuss the conversations he has had with liquor agents. Cooper Street has never run afoul of the law before, Wolf added. A message left with a representative of Little Annie’s did not return a message. Messages left at the Liquor Enforcement Division in Denver and Grand Junction were not returned.The Dec. 2 arrests involved more than 50 officers from local, state and federal agencies. Authorities cordoned off an alley, according to witnesses, as officers arrested 20 people for drug and immigration violations. At least two of those arrested worked at either Cooper Street or Little Annie’s. Authorities seized five ounces of cocaine and $3,000 in cash allegedly related to drug activities.The arrests, carried out during après-ski on a Friday, angered some in the community for the execution of the raid. Aspen Police Chief Loren Ryerson apologized for not informing the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office about the planned arrests beforehand. A public meeting to discuss the arrests has been scheduled for Jan. 17.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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