At the trial of a former Aspen resident accused of cocaine trafficking, a federal prosecutor will use telephone recordings of a defendant who has already pleaded guilty, along with credit card, hotel and real estate records.
The evidence that prosecutor Michelle Korver plans to present at next month’s trial of Montgomery Chitty, 61, was disclosed in a filing made Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Denver. The exhibits include phone calls the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration intercepted during a yearlong investigation into a Los Angeles-to-Aspen cocaine-distribution ring.
Chitty was arrested in February 2012 at his home in Big Pine Key, Fla., for his alleged role in the ring, which imported the drug by the kilo into the upper valley, according to federal drug agents. He pleaded not guilty in March to charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 5 kilos or more.
The DEA in May 2011 arrested six Aspen-area residents, and five have since pleaded guilty, with the charges dropped against another person.
Korver plans to use three phone conversations that involved Alfonso Elvao-Allocati of Los Angeles in 2010 and 2011. Elvao-Allocati, 72, who sold cocaine to Aspen resident Wayne Reid, pleaded guilty in January 2012 to charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 5 kilos or more. He is expected to be sentenced in March to three-and-a-half years in prison.
While Wednesday’s filing doesn’t disclose who was on the other end of the conversations with Elvao-Allocati, previously released court documents show that the government recorded conversations where he and Reid discussed Chitty’s alleged role in the trafficking operation.
Korver’s exhibit list for Chitty’s trial includes the plea agreement for Reid, 67, who is described by DEA agents as the leader of the drug ring. He pleaded guilty to the same charges as Elvao-Allocati and is expected to receive between four and eight years in prison when he is sentenced next month.
Korver will also use records from two credit card accounts, closing documents related to an Old Snowmass property and records from what was then called the Falcon Ridge Hotel in Mesquite, Nev. It’s unclear from the filing how Chitty is related to the records, though Reid bought cocaine from Elvao-Allocati in Nevada, according to court filings.
If convicted, Chitty faces at least 20 years in prison, a mandatory minimum sentence brought on by his 1990 conviction in Louisiana for marijuana trafficking. Chitty, who was sentenced to four years in that case, could receive as long as a life sentence upon conviction for the current case.
On Thursday, Chief Judge Marcia S. Krieger of U.S. District Court granted a motion allowing Chitty’s attorney, Thomas Goodreid of Denver, to withdraw from the case. Chitty will represent himself, though Goodreid will act in an advisory role.
When he lived here, Chitty was an outspoken gadfly and also is a former consultant to the Democratic National Committee. He has remained in federal detention since his arrest.
After hearing arguments from Chitty and Korver on Thursday, Krieger continued the trial to Feb. 11.