A former Aspen man accused of having a role in a local cocaine-trafficking ring is seeking testimony from a government informant, co-defendants in a companion case, a local journalist and financial officials, he disclosed Thursday.
Montgomery Chitty, 61, who is representing himself, wants a judge to issue subpoenas for 11 people and businesses for his trial next month. His list, filed as part of a motion in Denver federal court, includes the informant that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration used in breaking up a Los Angeles-to-Aspen smuggling operation.
Also on Chitty’s witness list are Christopher Sheehan, 67, of Brush Creek Village near Snowmass Village; Jack Fellner, 62, of Aspen; and Joan Anastasi, 68, also of Aspen. They were among five upper-valley residents arrested in 2011 who have since pleaded guilty.
The informant “will testify at trial to defendant’s lack of possession or distribution of cocaine/drugs,” Chitty wrote.
The others will also attest to his lack of involvement in the drug operation, the motion says.
Chitty, of Big Pine Key, Fla., has pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine. He was arrested in February 2012.
If convicted, he faces at least 20 years in prison, a mandatory minimum sentence brought on by his 1990 conviction in Louisiana for marijuana trafficking, and as long as a life sentence.
Wayne Reid, 66, another Aspen man arrested in the 2011 raid who is in jail awaiting sentencing for cocaine distribution, called his Los Angeles supplier in 2010 to angrily complain that Chitty was trying to steal customers and street-level dealers, according to court documents filed in August.
The DEA cast Reid as the leader of a trafficking operation that agents say brought an estimated 200 kilos of cocaine over 15 years to the upper valley. He is expected to be sentenced next month to four to eight years in prison, and to testify against Chitty.
Chitty also wants to subpoena John Colson, a reporter with the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. Colson can testify to Chitty’s “employment and means of income, which will contradict government allegations,” the motion says.
Colson declined comment Friday. Two other local men are on Chitty’s list to also testify about his employment and income.
When he lived in Aspen, Chitty was known as a pundit who was a good friend of the late Hunter S. Thompson and as a former consultant to the Democratic National Committee.
He also is seeking testimony from representatives of the 1st State Bank in Florida and Pitkin County Title. The former has proof of legitimate payment for housing and rental properties to contradict government witnesses, while the latter can verify the sale of his property “to prove legitimate income for Montgomery Chitty for many years.”
Chitty’s trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 11.