A Snowmass Village man with an outstanding warrant for his arrest since September turned himself in to Aspen Police Tuesday evening.
Cole W. Sharpe, 30, was taken into custody at the Pitkin County Jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond and faces a class 2 drug felony for attempted unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. The affidavit for an arrest warrant, issued Sept. 20, had been sealed until the time of arrest, as Sharpe was viewed as a flight risk. During Sharpe’s advisement Wednesday afternoon, however, Pitkin County District Judge Chris Seldin lowered his bond to $10,000.
At about 11:55 p.m. on Sept. 12, Aspen police officer Dan Davis approached an idling van with Wisconsin plates on East Cooper Avenue, where he found three men, one of them Sharpe, allegedly having consumed cocaine.
“I decided to contact the people in the van to inform them of the idling vehicle law in Aspen, as well as letting them know they could not sleep in their van within city limits,” Davis wrote.
Upon closer inspection, Davis noted that the van’s window shades covered the front window and passenger side door.
“This made me suspicious that perhaps something nefarious was going on,” he continued.
Ultimately, Stephen Vaughn, 25, and Jacob Isley, 21, were arrested that night for allegedly consuming cocaine. But after Sharpe — to whom the van ostensibly belonged and who exited the vehicle first — confirmed Davis’ suspicion that the white powder he saw was in fact “blow,” Sharpe allegedly ran from the scene instead of following instructions to put his hands on the van, according to the affidavit.
Isley, too, told Davis that he and Vaughn “went with Sharpe to the van and he told them he had ‘blow’ (cocaine),” according to the affidavit.
“I seized Sharpe’s 1990 white and silver Chevrolet G20 van … and had it towed to the Aspen Police Department pending a search warrant,” Davis wrote.
Four days later, on Sept. 16, Detective Ritchie Zah searched the van. That search yielded one baggie of psilocybin mushrooms weighing 7.3 grams and another weighing 31.3 grams. Additionally, Zah found a baggie of white powder that tested as presumptive cocaine weighing 38.6 grams and “several small baggies with logos consistent with those used to portion out drugs for sale” among other contraband and a scale, the affidavit says.
In a follow-up incident report, officer Ryan Turner details an interview he conducted in the jail with Isley.
“Sharpe and Vaughn told Isley that they were going to go to ‘the van’” after Vaughn’s and Isley’s shift at a local restaurant, the report reads. “Isley said that Sharpe and Vaughn didn't specifically say they were going to go consume cocaine but that he had a ‘feeling’ that they were. After approximately five minutes of being in the van, [Sharpe] said, ‘Cops cops cops.’ [Sharpe] then handed Isley the bag of cocaine and told him to hide it. Isley subsequently put the bag in his pocket.”
Isley also went on to point out that while he believed he had been charged with possession of mushrooms that night, “the mushrooms were already in the van when he got in and said that they didn't belong to him,” Turner’s report continues.
“Based on the fact that Sharpe provided cocaine to Isley and Vaughn and the items recovered are used in the possession, sale and distribution of controlled substances, and Sharpe ran from me as I was trying to arrest him, I have probable cause to believe Sharpe was involved in the sale and distribution of controlled substances and obstructed a peace officer,” Davis wrote.
The presumptive range of sentencing for a class 2 drug felony is four to eight years in prison, if no plea agreement is reached. Sharpe is due back in court on Dec. 12. As of Wednesday evening, he was still in custody of the Pitkin County Jail.