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Colorado man reaches plea agreement after cocaine bust

Sometimes a drug arrest can almost appear to be out of nowhere. A phone call is made to someone, who turns out to be a known drug dealer being watched by law enforcement, and before anyone knows what happened, federal agents are involved, and people are facing numerous drug charges.

A similar situation happened in Colorado back in March, and one of the six who was arrested recently ended up reaching a plea agreement.

According to that agreement, the 64-year-old Aspen Village resident had called another man in order to arrange a time to meet up. What the 64-year-old probably did not know at the time, was that he was part of a federal sting operation that was looking into a cocaine distribution ring that reportedly spanned multiple states.

Sources claim that after the 64-year-old called the suspected cocaine distribution ringleader, federal agents watched as the two later met up in person. At that time the 64-year-old was given an envelope that contained three ounces of cocaine.

After his arrest, the 64-year-old was originally indicted on charges of aiding and abetting in the distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms of more of cocaine. To both of those charges he pleaded not guilty.

However, after a 51-year-old, who was also somehow involved in the conspiracy to distribute cocaine ring, had her case dismissed, the 64-year-old reached a plea agreement. He ended up pleaded guilty to one count of using a telephone to facilitate a drug transaction.

His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 23, and he faces a maximum of four years in prison, with no more than one year of supervised release. He could also end up paying a $250,000 fine.

Four others Colorado residents tied to the case, which include the suspected ringleader of the conspiracy, still have charges pending.

In general, this case -- and the charges pending against the others -- highlights the fact that sometimes people can end up getting wrapped up into a larger drug investigation, and end up being part of a sting operation without even realizing it.

Source: The Aspen Times, "Local man pleads guilty in Aspen cocaine case," Rick Carroll, Nov. 1, 2011

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