Teen says drug search illegal | AspenTimes.com

Teen says drug search illegal

John Colson

A local teen-ager arrested in August on drug charges is asking a local judge to rule that the search leading to his arrest was illegal.

Thomas Colver, 19, was arrested Aug. 14 by two officers of the Aspen Police Department. He was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of psilocybin (a hallucinogenic mushroom) and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to an arrest affidavit filed by Officer Michael Buglione.

Colver was the passenger in a car stopped by the police at around midnight, after it had been reportedly seen speeding into town, according to the affidavit.

The car was driven by another Aspenite, Tony Rizzuto, 19, who is one of eight local young men charged in connection with a rash of burglaries and armed robberies in the upper-valley area.

Colver, who has not been charged in connection with the cases, was recognized by one of the police officers as “an investigative lead in a current case” in which guns reportedly were used, according to the affidavit. The exact nature of the case was not mentioned, and neither officer involved nor the district attorney in charge of the case could be reached for comment Tuesday.

But according to the affidavit, the police pulled Colver out of the car, searched him and allegedly found a bag of marijuana in one of his socks. He was then arrested.

The officers then searched the car, according to the affidavit, and found “multiple baggies” allegedly containing the psilocybin mushrooms, hidden beneath the seat of the car.

Colver, according to the affidavit, told the officers that the baggie of mushrooms was his, and that he bought them from an unknown man in Boulder. He said he planned to hand them out at a party to “anyone who wanted to hallucinate.”

Colver was jailed in lieu of a $10,000 bond, but the bond was later modified to “personal recognizance” and he is currently out of jail.

Colver was being represented by the 9th Judicial District’s public defender’s office. But in court this week another attorney, Walt Brown, took over his defense.

Brown said in court that he planned to go ahead with a motion to suppress the evidence obtained in the search, on the grounds that the police did not have sufficient grounds to search either Colver or the car.

Colver is next due in court on Nov. 29, although Judge J.E. DeVilbiss cautioned Brown that the court’s docket is already crowded that day and the hearing may have to be delayed.


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