Two in custody after Aspen drug bust
ASPEN – Two Eastern Europeans are in custody after Aspen and federal law-enforcement agents detained them Wednesday morning at a Main Street apartment building on suspicion of drug distribution and illegal immigration status, among other charges.
Andrian Arapu, 25, and Yelena Inozemtseva, 24, are expected to be advised Thursday in Pitkin County District Court on multiple felony charges connected to cocaine and marijuana distribution. Arapu also faces felony weapons and forgery counts.
Immigrations Customs and Enforcement (ICE) holds also were placed each suspect.
The two were taken into custody after authorities visited Arapu’s one-bedroom unit at the Copper Horse apartment building at approximately 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Aspen Police officers and Immigrations Customs and Enforcement agents went to the unit to check on Arapu’s whereabouts, but, in plain view, they saw cocaine and one handgun, according to a police press release.
Police then, without warrants, arrested Arapu and Inozemtseva, who were both in the apartment unit at the time. Inozemtseva lives at the Aspen Business Center, court documents show.
Both suspects were placed in separate police vehicles. Inozemtseva smiled at one time, while Arapu sat silently, with a hood pulled up over his head, as he sat waiting to transported to the Pitkin County Jail.
According to the press release, police were acting on an anonymous tip they received that Arapu was a Russian man who was selling drugs and carrying a handgun. During the course of following up on the tip, police worked with ICE officials out of Glenwood Springs, who determined he was living in the U.S. illegally.
Wednesday’s bust was attended by Aspen police, ICE agents, and Pitkin County prosecutors Arnold Mordkin and Richard Nedlin. Officers, Mordkin and Nedlin all declined to comment about the investigation.
Meanwhile, shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aspen Police executed a search warrant on Arapu’s apartment unit. As one officer stood watch, three cops, including Investigator Walter Chi, combed the unit – where a “Scarface” poster adorned a den wall – inspecting a suitcase, drawers and other items.
Arapu is a cook at Domino’s Pizza in Aspen, according to court documents. He faces five felonies: possession of a controlled substance; distribution of a controlled substance; special offender firearm; forgery of a foreign government issued document; and the sale of marijuana.
Inozemtseva, a supervisor of sales at the clothing shop Theory Aspen, faces four felonies: possession of a controlled substance; possession of a controlled substance with an intent to distribute; possession of marijuana; and sale of marijuana.
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