Local authorities in the last seven days have made two felony arrests that involve the drug methamphetamine.
On Tuesday night, Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy Kyle Ryan was headed eastbound on Highway 82 south of Basalt when he noticed a car with its hazard lamps flashing. The vehicle was traveling less than 35 mph in a 55 mph zone and crossed the solid-white shoulder line four separate times before it reached the area of the Lazy Glen bus stop, according to Ryan’s arrest affidavit.
The deputy stopped the vehicle and contacted the driver, later identified as Jennifer C. Smith, 49, of Clifton. She told him her vehicle was not driving properly, that it sounded like “metal was scraping on the road,” possibly a muffler issue. In addition, she said the wheels felt as though they were going to fall off the car, the report states.
Clifton handed Ryan a temporary paper ID and said she had not yet received her new license. Ryan called in her name to the dispatch center where personnel relayed that Smith was a “corrections client” and that her driver’s license had been revoked for alcohol-related offenses, the affidavit says.
Another deputy at the scene told Ryan he could see a bottle of vodka under Smith’s passenger’s seat, Ryan wrote. He then asked Smith if she was on probation or parole and she replied that she was on probation for meth possession. She additionally said she had not used the drug since “before August,” the report states.
Smith consented to a search of the vehicle. Ryan wrote that he found, in a large purse, a small “toiletries style” pouch containing a small baggie with an “unknown clear, crystalline substance,” a needle which was broken and bent (attached to a syringe) and a few other items. Ryan said he also found a bottle of vodka that was open and three-quarters full.
He told Smith her driver’s license had been revoked. She said she didn’t think it had been revoked because she was arrested for DUI in Rifle in August but had not yet been to court. Additionally, she explained that she was not taken to jail for the DUI but had been given paperwork that included a summons and notice of revocation.
Ryan wrote that he then placed Smith under arrest and transported her to the Pitkin County Jail. There, Ryan found a card among Smith’s belongings that stated, “This cardholder is an active participant in a certified, county-approved syringe exchange program registered under Colorado law.”
Smith said the drugs belonged to a younger female friend with whom she had a falling out a few months ago. Smith also said, according to the report, that she had not used meth since before August, and that when she did, she always smoked it. The syringe and other items belonged to her friend, she claimed. The card, she said, was given to her because she had regularly driven the friend to a needle-exchange facility.
Smith faces two felonies related to possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia; a misdemeanor on the charge of driving with a suspended license; and a petty offense for the open container of alcohol.
In the other arrest, which occurred on the night of Sept. 5, a man described as a transient was contacted by Aspen Police Department as he was sleeping in the alley south of the 600 block of East Hyman Avenue.
The man identified himself as Aubrey L. Fuller, 31. Dispatch center personnel told police that Fuller had an active nationwide warrant for trespassing and a parole violation, and that he was a known drug abuser.
Police officer Audrey Radlinski wrote in an affidavit that Fuller’s body language and demeanor suggested he was in possession of drugs in his backpack. Officers recovered a clear glass pipe with residue indicative of drug use, which later tested positive for methamphetamine, the report says.
Fuller was arrested on suspicion of being a fugitive from justice and unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a felony.
Neither Smith nor Fuller was in custody of the Pitkin County Jail as of Wednesday evening, according to the jail’s online inmate list.