eagle county justice center

The Eagle County Justice Center, where 5th Judicial District and Eagle County Court hearings are conducted. 

 

Two people were arrested in Basalt on drug-related charges following a Monday morning “unannounced home visitation” by state parole personnel and local police.

A news release from the Basalt Police Department says that Mark Andrew Nelson, 59, was arrested by the Colorado Division of Adult Parole at the accessory dwelling unit of a Sopris Circle residence. As of Tuesday evening, Nelson was being held in the Eagle County Jail under a $50,000 bond.

Prior to the visitation, Basalt police received information that illegal narcotics and weapons allegedly were in Nelson’s possession at the residence. Police learned that Nelson was on parole and notified the state parole office, according to the release.

“During the home visit, suspected illegal narcotics were observed in the residence,” the release states.

A search of the residence and two vehicles revealed the following:

● 1.6 pounds of suspected cocaine.

● .43 pounds or suspected methamphetamine.

● .35 pounds of suspected marijuana.

● 4.5 grams of suspected heroin.

● 693 suspected fentanyl pills.

● 111 suspected Ritalin pills.

● Multiple drug paraphernalia items.

● A 12-gauge shotgun, previously reported stolen from the Rifle, Colorado, area.

● A .444 caliber rifle and two handguns of .38 and .380 caliber.

● A stolen power tool from the Sheridan, Colorado, area.

● $11,118 in U.S. currency.

Basalt police have filed the following charges against Nelson: unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a class 4 drug felony; unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, a class 1 drug felony; possession of weapons by a previous offender, a class 6 felony; theft, a class 1 misdemeanor; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a petty offense.

A second person who was in the residence during the visitation, Luz Maria Canseco-Escobar, 37, also was arrested. She was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a class 4 drug felony; unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, a class 1 drug felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a petty offense.Canseco-Escobar also was transported to the Eagle County Jail where she posted a $15,000 bond to gain release. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Roaring Fork Fire Rescue assisted at the scene, the release adds.

Eagle County District Attorney Heidi McCollum said her office requested a $250,000 bond at Nelson’s advisement. The suggested bond guideline for a class 1 drug felony is $15,000, cash or surety. The district court judge decided to set bond at $50,000, she said.

“We believe Nelson is a danger to the community given his extensive criminal history and multiple parole violations,” she said.

McCollum said she did not have any details related to Nelson’s background given that another prosecutor handled the advisement. She said additional charges could be filed in the case pending further investigation.

An “offender search” through the Colorado Department of Corrections’ website shows Nelson was sentenced in Mesa County in 2012 but does not state the charges for which he was convicted. Nor does it say when Nelson was released on parole.

Andre is a reporter for Aspen Daily News. He can be reached at andre@aspendailynews.com.