A local man was sentenced to time served Monday for his role in a cocaine-trafficking operation that federal drug agents said spanned 15 years and multiple states.
Christopher James Sheehan, 67, who lives in Brush Creek Village outside Snowmass Village, was held in a Front Range federal detention facility for about seven months after his arrest in May 2011.
He was released in December on a bond that stipulated he must pay the federal government $250,000 if he sells his home. That lien condition remains as part of his sentence, which also includes a $25,000 fine, said Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Denver.
Sheehan’s plea agreement had called for him to be sentenced to one year and one day in prison. But Judge Marcia S. Krieger of U.S. District Court ruled that his pretrial detention period was satisfactory, Dorschner said.
Of the five Aspen-area residents who have reached plea agreements, only Wayne Alan Reid, described by authorities as one of the leaders of the drug operation, and Joseph James Burke have yet to be sentenced.
Sheehan pleaded guilty in January to one count of using a telephone to facilitate a drug transaction.
His plea agreement says that he phoned Reid on March 12, 2011, to arrange a drug buy. Later that day, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents watched as Reid delivered 10 ounces of cocaine to Sheehan’s home in Brush Creek Village, the court filing says.
The DEA said it investigated the drug-smuggling operation for a year, alleging that the accused brought an estimated 200 kilos from Los Angeles to Aspen, at times via Nevada, over 15 years.
Burke, like Sheehan, has pleaded guilty to using a telephone to facilitate a drug transaction and also is expected to be sentenced next month to time served.
Reid, who pleaded guilty in January to possessing with the intent to distribute 5 kilos or more of cocaine, likewise is expected to be sentenced next month. He could receive four to eight years in prison.